Painting of Kerala boy becomes cover for govt’s gender budget document; Receives another recognition

Achieving something is commendable and getting a space to showcase the same is also appreciable. A boy named AnujathSindhu Vinaylal from Thrissur, Kerala has now been gained attention after his painting got featured on the cover of the state government’s gender budget document. Globally renowned publisher HarperCollins has featured the 16-year-old boy’s paintings in its recently published book ‘Onam in a Nightie: Stories from a Kerala Quarantine.

The publisher HarperCollins released a video of the promotion of the book and the man behind the painting was mentioned in it. In the promotion video, the publisher asked to guess the age of the person who painted the cover. They also put They also listed various ages as options and they were 8, 16, 28, 45, 58, and 75 and viewers responded to the video. Most of them chose the option based on their judgment based on the publisher’s prejudice. However, they were later stunned by the revelation that the 10 paintings in the book including those on the cover page were done by Anujath.

The book which is written by an international journalist and Delhi-based Malayalee, Anjana Menon is another connection to the Kerala audience as there is a signature of a Malayalee author. The book is about her Kerala visit during the pandemic period and experiences she had. The book has 40 stories and the Kerala Tourism department is promoting it globally.

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Anujath, when he was 13 years old drew a picture titled ‘Ente ammayaum and ayalvakkathae ammamarum’(which translates to My mother and the mothers in the neighborhood).’ The boy received a gold medal at Shankar’s International Children’s Competition. The boy dedicated the painting to his mother. Unfortunately, he lost his ailing mother before he received the award. 

The class 11 student of Devamatha School in Thrissur has been praised for his contribution by many across the state. His painting garnered more attention after it became the cover for the Kerala government’s gender budget document. That is how the author and the publisher came to know about the talented boy and then he was approached by the team to feature his painting in the book.