Forty-two-year-old Swapna Augustine was born without arms, but has found acclaim as an artist, painting impressive pictures with her feet.
She has exhibited and sold her work in India and abroad, and has won a number of accolades,
most recently an Aadhi Aabadi Women Achievers Award in 2015.
Before Swapna was born, her father Augustine dreamt that
his wife Sophie would give birth to a baby without arms who would go on to bring glory to the family’s name.
When she was born three months later, her parents named her Swapna, which means “dream” in their native tongue Malayalam.
Even as a child, Swapna was fiercely independent,
and aged 4 she started kindergarten and soon learnt to write the alphabet in sand using her feet.
She continued her education, and after graduating from St Joseph’s College for Women in Kerala,
joined the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Association, an international society for disabled artists.
She trained with an art teacher for 2 years,
and now Swapna regularly takes part in artistic workshops with physically disabled students when she is not producing her own paintings.
Over the next few years, Swapna aims to create an autobiographical painting, telling her inspiring life story.