For some the laurels do not come that easily but only through dedicated and concerted efforts.

That has been the experience of Jasfer Kottakunnu an artist who is afflicted with muscular dystrophy that weakens body muscles, and incapacitates body movements.

Jasfer has been selected for the award instituted by the Kodankandath International Art Foundation (Kiaf) for the best artist, and his contribution in the field of art.

T. Jaleel, convener, Kiaf, said the effort Jasfer took to etch out a painting had to be seen to be believed. The artist holds the brush between his teeth to etch his watercolours that basically portray Nature in different moods.

Watching the Discovery Channel is one of the major hobbies of the artist and the programmes provide him inspiration and ideas for his oeuvres. Besides watercolours, Jasfer is also an expert in pencil drawing.


Jasfer was inspired by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's `Agni Chirakukal' and had done a painting of the President. When Mr. Kalam visited Kozhikode, Jasfer had presented the painting to him.

The twenty-six-year-old artist hailing from Malappuram had no formal training in painting except the orientation provided by artist Dayanand. He, however, says that he wants to learn the technical aspects of the craft. As a school student he had been keenly interested in drawing and painting. He had to drop out of school when he was in the VI class when illness struck him. At first in the loneliness of his home he could draw with his hands. But soon that too failed him. He was not defeated. Instead, he evolved a method of using the brush and paints.

The award will be presented by M.V. Devan, artist, at a programme to be held at the Lalitakala Akademy Art Gallery here on March 16. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.10, 000 and citation.