19-year-old Arpan Sardar has been fighting acute lymphoblastic leukaemia for the last five years. He is now taking steps to ensure he gets to study at the renowned West Bengal government's Art College.
Shongbad Protidin, a Bengali daily, reported how Sardar, from his hospital bed in Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute in Thakurpukur, is busy building idols of Durga. Just a month before Durga Puja, the 19-year-old has been able to sell one small idol for Rs 6,000.
The hospital's art therapist Papri Saha is the one who first made Sardar pick up a brush.
In 2012, when Sardar's cancer was first detected, his parents didn't know how to fund the treatment. The teenager's father, a gardener by profession, and his mother, a housewife, arranged for Rs 1.5 lakh by selling his mother's jewellery and their only asset, a bigha of land in Budge Budge.
The doctors at the hospital helped collect another Rs 3 lakh through some NGOs.
But that wasn't enough. Sardar needed more chemotherapy and more medicines--which translated to more expenses.
With the encouragement from doctors and the art therapist, Sardar picked up a paintbrush. A painting of his Lord Buddha was sold to a private company in Delhi for Rs 1 lakh.
"I didn't know how to properly hold a paintbrush. But painting is my only hope now," Sardar had told The Telegraph.
Sardar passed his board exams this year and now wants to go to the government's art school. And now, he is trying to fulfil that dream one idol at a time.
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