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WHO Goodwill Ambassador's Newsletter For The Elimination Of Leprosy

Portrait: A PASSION FOR PAINTING

Rintu Karjee likes nothing more than picking up a paint brush and following his muse.

Rintu (second from right), and some of his work, in Hyderabad

Twenty-nine-year old Rintu Karjee loves to paint. The youngest of nine brothers and sisters, West Bengal-born Rintu first began sketching at the age of six and has not looked back since.

Normally a day doesn't go by without him spending at least some time with his brushes. "It's what I enjoy doing more than anything else," he says. "I don't feel right if I haven't spent time on a painting."

Rintu developed symptoms of leprosy at the age of 21, but it was several years before he was correctly diagnosed and treated with MDT.

Today he lives with his mother and paints when the mood takes him. He doesn't set out with a particular theme in mind, but says the images take shape as he works.

Lacking a sales channel, Rintu says he has thousands of pictures piled up at home, and is finding it increasing hard to store them.

But although he can't make a living from his art, he is able to support himself by teaching children how to paint. One way or another, he is never far from doing what he likes best.