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Bengaluru man sells footballer's portraits to fund education for blind children

From football legend Lionel Messi to Liverpool forward Mohammad Salah, Shivaraj has floored many with his deftly-crafted human portraits.

Bengaluru man sells footballers portraits to fund education for blind children

Srijanee D. Majumdar

Published: 9 Oct 2019 8:16 AM GMT

Bengaluru-born Shivaraj S Shetty, in his early 20s, admits to being an ardent fan of the local football club Bengaluru FC, considered as a breath of fresh air for Indian football by many. His identity cannot be only relegated to being a loyal fan of the football club, for he is an artist too. From football legend Lionel Messi to Liverpool forward Mohammad Salah, Shivaraj has floored many with his deftly-crafted human portraits.

The joy of giving

Art serves an indispensable function in society and human history and becomes strangely compatible when coupled with the beauty arising from the unpredictable web of order and chaos within a sporting ecosystem. Artists across the world, at some point in their lives, have channelled their artistic talent for bracing charity towards greater causes. Shivaraj is doing no different. He has spent six months painting portraits of every Bengaluru FC player who has ever appeared in a league match, to donate them for raising funds to support the education of a blind school.


When asked why he would take on such a feat, the young artist simply replied,

As a fan, it is a very small gesture. If I can do my bid to help support a cause, why not? I’m trying to contribute a little by donating my paintings to raise money for a cause.

Artwork for donation

Showering eulogies on his favourite club, Shivaraj believes that the club has brought the spirit of Indian football alive. This initiative has been a subject of commendation by the officials of the club, following which he claims to have collected Rs 20,000 within a span of just four days. It was never pre-planned, he says with a subtle tingle of honesty. “I am not doing this for money, I am trying to contribute to society by helping those in need. I am fortunate to my West Block Blues' group to have bestowed in me the confidence for which I am doing things that I wanted,” says Shivaraj.

Shivaraj Shetty seen here with winger Kean Lewis.

Down with the Chhetri fever

Shivaraj perceives painting as a mere hobby and admitted to having taken it up last year after a long gap. Claiming to be a football fan since 2011, he regards Bengaluru FC as something ‘very close to his heart’, which drew him to create paintings that are appreciable by both players and fans. The words of encouragement by star striker Sunil Chhetri is still fresh in his mind. He exuberantly says, “Oh, he was very happy. As a fan, I can’t do anything more. I gifted him his portrait and he loved it. That’s my way of keeping players like Sunil motivated. My painting is still there in his house.” Then there are the portraits of players such as Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Baichung Bhutia, who have expressed amazement at his speed and clarity.


One does not need to be rich to practice charity, every little bit counts. Shivaraj, by means of donating his work to raise money for blind children, has truly imbibed the meaning of ‘joy of giving’. The idea of considering the possibility of donating artwork that could help educate the handicapped deserve applauds and attention. His generous attitude is inspiring to each of us and one hopes that Shivaraj continues his good work for years.

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