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Daily wager’s son wins hearts through sand arts in Odisha

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Balasore: Shraban Kumar Mandal, a college dropout, from Odisha’s Balasore district is spending hours every day on a beach here not for fun but to make his dreams come true. This 20-year-old’s only aim is to become a sand artist and bring laurels for his hometown and State.

Passionate about sand art, Shraban was forced to quit studies half-way due to financial constraints and a responsibility to supplement his family’s income.

Despite so many obstacles coming his way very early, the young boy kept his zest for life alive by following his passion with full gusto. He has been building sand art on Dagara beach here for the last few years.

Dagara beach of the Bay of Bengal sea — one of the tourists attractions in Balasore district — attracts hundreds of visitors from different parts of the State.

The college dropout, who hails from Chaumukh village under Baliapal block of the district, creates sand sculptures on the sea beach often and garners praise of tourists, which according to him is the best award and keeps him motivated.

“I always try to create a sand art with a social message to remind people about the importance of keeping the environment clean and to recall the significance of special days,” Sharaban said.

Like internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik who created a huge sand sculptor on Puri beach to welcome New Year, the budding sand artist too built one to give the tourists a good time at, what otherwise, a less popular sea beach in the State.

“I have created a 3.8 feet Jagannath statute which took me nearly three hours. Odia people seek blessing of Lord Jagannath before any auspicious beginning, so I thought of creating this thinking it fits the occasion perfectly,” the young sand artist added.

Besides common people, various officials of the district administration have praised Shraban for beautiful creations many times.

“Balasore Collector today appreciated me and asked me to keep creating sand arts on the beach,” he added.

Bijay Pradhan, who had visited the beach along with his family, was all praise for the sand sculptor.

“Like in Puri sea beach where Sudarshan Pattnaik’s sand art attracts huge number of visitors, Shraban’s sand sculptor at Dagara beach is a must watch for the tourists here,” Pradhan added.

Parents of Shraban, though financially not stable, are left with no option but to allow their son pursue his dreams.

“He is mad about sand art and spends a good amount of time on the beach every day. God knows when he will be able to earn and run his family,” Shraban’s mother Sumati said with a heavy heart.