Thrissur: There was nobody who studied painting in that group. But there was a picture etched in their mind. It took shape on the pillars around the atrium of the main block of the Kerala Police Academy in Thrissur.
It was the image of Madhu, hands tied and with a look that could break anybody’s heart.
When senior officers saw the picture, they handed over the entire atrium to the police trainees. Now, the pillars are memorials for the tribal youth from Attappadi who was lynched on suspicion of rice theft.
A special drive was held to recruit a batch of 74 candidates belonging to tribal communities for police training. Madhu's sister Chandrika was one among them. Though a year has passed after the lynching of Madhu, no one in the group was yet to overcome the grief.
Five of them took the brushes, thinking how to do something for Madhu. Though they could paint well, none of them had studied painting.
Their talent was discovered by the reserve inspector in the academy Ajaykumar. After getting the permission of ADGP B Sandhya and DIG Anoop Kuruvilla, the atrium of the main block was given to them for their painting. They started with the pillars. The painting materials were provided by the academy. When Madhu's painting was appreciated, the other pillars were used for illustrating tribal lifestyle.
Mothers in traditional clothes, kids, animals that are a threat to the community and the green cover of the forest all came alive on the pillars. In the middle on the atrium, a model of their hut was built. The mud hut has a thatched roof made of hay and bamboo.
Meanwhile, the batch completed their training and left the academy before they could complete their paintings on a few pillars. The authorities did not try to get someone to complete the paintings. Like Madhu's life, the paintings too will remain incomplete.