Youth beats odds to pursue passion

Youth beats odds to pursue passion

Udhayakumar was born healthy but tragedy struck him when he was a 11-month-old baby. He was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), an ailment that affects the neurons of spinal cord and brain stem, slowly arresting the entire body movement.

Since then, Udhay, now a 39-year-old man, has been able to move only his thumb and index finger. But he has not given up on life as he has taken to paintings. Will power has helped Udhay to overcome his physical limitations. The art of painting has further helped him fight the odds.

With the help of his mother, he has been creating some spectacular art pieces which are appreciated and well received by the art and culture community. “At the age of six, he tried to take a paper and pencil, which was next to his wheelchair. I assisted him. He attempted to scribble. Our family was very happy. Slowly, he started drawing images,” Udhay’s mother V Santhakumari told Deccan Herald.

Udhay was even equally adept in his studies when he completed his 10th grade from St John’s School in Chennai. “He discontinued his studies after 10th standard due to the ailment. Since then, painting has been his only passion,” said Santhakumari.

He received the best student award for scoring high marks in board exams by the then judge of Madras High Court. At the age of seven, he participated in an exhibition organised by Victoria Technical Institute in 1982.

He also has to his credit several solo exhibitions in the city, catching the imagination of the art and culture community. “More than 50 of Udhay’s paintings were put on display at an exhibition in the city, the proceeds of which would be used for his treatment.,” said V S Ramana, Founding Trustee of HeART beat foundation that helped organise the exhibition.

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