“Disability cannot beat an inspired mind”- My Take by artist Anjan Satish
31 year old Anjan Satish is a painter and caricature artist from Kochi. Anjan, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, is hearing impaired and has glaucoma too. Anjan’s works have been exhibited at many events. He has drawn caricatures for politicians, celebrities and other renowned personalities.
I was diagnosed with glaucoma when I was hardly one month old. Soon, my parents started noticing my delayed developmental milestones and decided to seek medical help. That is how they took me to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi where I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when I was nearly two years old.
The doctors told my parents that there was no permanent cure for it. Only certain therapies could improve my condition. Upon my return back to Kerala, my parents decided to provide me with the best education and other facilities available here
Life after diagnosis of disabilities
I was at the Mukundan Memorial Speech and Hearing Institute in Kochi for over two years. After that, I attended Raksha School for a while. Simultaneously, I was doing certain Ayurveda treatments as well.
When I was five years old, my parents got me admitted into a regular school which was close to my home. In fact, my mother took a five year leave so that she could accompany me to schools. There were hardly any special schools during that time. I managed to complete my education along with other children without disabilities and also got a decent score in class 10.
I was unable to walk and was crawling till around twelve years of age. My parents had to carry me everywhere. So when I grew up, they couldn’t do that anymore. I did around twelve surgeries at Kasturba Medical College of Manipal after which I started walking using crutches. I also did rigorous physiotherapy. During that time, I was attending the Adarsh Special School in Kochi where I continued for longer.
Tryst with art
I was always fascinated by art from a very young age. My parents say that I used to draw when I was two years old. Since that was my main mode of communication, the world of art was important to me. But my parents did not want to encourage me too much because they wanted to promote speech and lip reading for me. Later on, after surgery, I kept drawing. Those who came to visit me started showering me with appreciations. That is when my parents also decided to encourage me to become an artist. They got me a lot of materials so that I could paint till my heart’s fill.
I have numerous awards and prizes for my works. At the age of twelve, I conducted my first art exhibition at Kochi. I have done over 200 paintings and caricatures till date. I started off with abstract paintings and are exploring newer avenues now.
I have a blog and YouTube channel called Anjans Gallery. After class 10, I also did a course on animation which helped me know better about caricatures.
The many accolades
The Kerala Cartoon Academy honoured me with a membership which I’am thrilled of. I’am also the icon for the academy. I could draw caricatures of APJ Abdul Kalam, Sachin Tendulkar, Pranab Mukherjee, Mammootty, Mohanlal and other prominent figures.
I was declared the ‘best creative fan’ of the Kerala Blasters team. My works were used by Mathrubhumi daily in their sports page too. In 2015, I received the national award for the most creative adult with disabilities. I was awarded with the Cavinkare ability-mastery award 2016 by the Ability Foundation in Chennai.
Over the years, I have been working on causes for the disabled community as well as for cancer patients and survivors. I hope to start an art school along with other disabled children so that more aspiring artists can come and learn art.
“I believe that disability cannot beat an inspired mind. There will be many challenges on your path. But make sure that you prove yourselves. There is nothing that you cannot achieve”.