A MONTH ago, city-based artist Chintamani Hasabnis was contacted by the founder of the Prerna Association for the Blind (PAFB), Satish Navale, to create an artwork that would depict the life of a soldier. Hasabnis was given a tough brief—a visually-challenged person should be able to touch the work and sense the theme—and the artist took it as a challenge.
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Hasabnis’ Braille painting would be presented as a Diwali gift to the Army soldiers posted on Indo-Pak border, near Punjab, by Navale and a few members of PAFB when the group leaves from Pune on October 30.
A team of six people will be visiting Punjab, which includes four visually-impaired members- Navale, Savita Kumbhar, Pravin Kachoa and Hanumant Joshi. They will be accompanied by two guides – Dilawar Sheikh and Sharvari Patil.
Talking about the initiative, Navale, who founded the Prerna Association in 2001, said, “Since a couple of years, we have been going to the Indo-Pak border areas and visiting the soldiers during Diwali. This time, we wanted something unusual.”
Hasabnis, who has made the painting, said that besides showing all the other elements — soldier, Tricolour, globe etc — he has also used a real wire to show the fence on the border. The painting also carries a poem by Hasabnis written in Braille that talks about ‘seven social sins’ —politics without principles; wealth without work; pleasure without conscience; knowledge without character; commerce without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice. “The purpose of incorporating the ‘seven social sins’ is to depict that people can’t see what they should see. So in a way, we have also become blind to realities,” he said.