On Monday, P. Shyam Sundar Achary’s hand-drawn artwork was selected as the cover photo of the railway ministry’s booklet on its achievements. Shyam Sundar Achary is a 35-year-old peon who has been working with the East Coast Railways headquarters in Bhubaneswar for the last 10 years.
The hand-drawing with the cover image that was unveiled in a press conference shows Mahatma Gandhi getting off a train, while people are waiting to greet him at the gate.
From Peon To Artist
Known mostly as Achary by his colleagues at East Coast, Shyam graduated in 2004 with a bachelors of fine arts and crafts from Bhubaneshwar’s Utkal University of Culture.
Speaking with The Logical Indian, he said, “Before this, only my colleagues at East coast knew that I am a painter, but now, everyone in the railways knows my skills.”
Achary came into limelight only in 2018 when he won an inter-railway painting competition which was on the theme of railways. This, he states, put him on the radar of a Delhi-based ministry official.
“At the competition, I had painted a similar painting of Gandhiji at the train station on the top and the Indian dream of the futuristic bullet train at the bottom,” he said.
Talking about his inspiration, Achary says, “I like the trains shown in old movies and the fact that Gandhiji and railways are intrinsically associated.”
Little did he know that after that win, he would be commissioned to paint the cover photo of a booklet that outlines the achievements of the railway ministry over the last four years.
“I was called out of work one day and asked to produce a painting similar to the one that made me win the competition, only this time, they wanted it without the bullet train,” says Shyam.
Achary in just one night’s time produced the painting. However, the final one that went on the cover was his third submission. He said, “For the third and final time, I used my own artistic imaginations to show Gandhiji at the station where I put in more detailing on the train itself.”
Still overwhelmed by the acknowledgment he has been receiving over the last couple of days, Achary is unsure of what is in store for him in the future. However, he does feel that this achievement will give him the pedestal he needs to grow as an artist.
The Logical Indian Take
The Logical Indian appreciates Shyam Sundar Achary’s efforts and we commend the Railway Ministry for recognising his talent. We couldn’t help but wonder how many more such talented artists, singers, dancers are unable to showcase their skills due to a lack of support.