Abbas deftly moves his fingers on pieces of clay and as he works, the shapeless lumps begin to transform and take the shape of a robot. Finally, he pokes two strands of silver metal into the head of the robot to form its antennae. The work complete, Abbas smiles with satisfaction but he himself cannot see clearly what a fine piece of art he has just created.
Abbas has hearing and visual impairment.
The robot is just one of his several works, all of them commendable. The quality of his art belies the fact that he cannot see or hear properly.
The 30-year-old is one of the six-odd students like him participating in an animation and fine arts course at the Helen Keller Institute for the Deaf and Deafblind in Byculla. While the institute is one of the oldest of its kind in the city working for the empowerment of the deafblind, this happens to be its first professional animation workshop.
Volunteers Nikhil Jeewa (26) and Kunal Rajguru (23) who have been teaching the students are themselves in awe of the high-quality art the students have been coming up with.
“Their talent is amazing. Their pencil sketches are so detailed that no one would guess it’s the work of someone who has hearing and visual impairment,” says Nikhil.
Their art has brightened up the small classroom. The walls are adorned with charcoal sketches, water colour paintings and pastel colour drawings, all by deafblind students.
[The rest of this article is at this link: Yes, we can - Express India