Ad whiz that broke the sound barrier

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On certain lives, the curtains will never fall. Charu Dutta’s is one such life. Born into silence, as a child suffering bilateral sensorineural loss of hearing, Charu has made much of the little things he had.

He may have never heard a sound or uttered a word in his life, but he makes music with images and colors, bringing slumbering advertising ideas to life. So the next time you look at the attractive packaging of Horlicks, Boost, Nutri Bar and Foodles; the crunchy “Kurkure” or the stylish State Bank of India’s credit card, you know whose brain is behind those images — it is Charu Dutta’s.

For his brilliance at creative design, this 43-year-old art and production service manager with the advertising giant JWT, Gurgaon, has bagged the national award for “the best employee” in the category of speech and hearing-impaired. He collected the citation from President Pratibha Patil who, on the occasion of World Disability Day, gave away awards in 17 categories. Charu was the only winner from Haryana.

On the stage, he could say nothing of his achievement, so he simply gestured to his mother, Deep who, for all these years, has sheltered her disabled son like a rock. “I never knew that fever and rash of half a day during my pregnancy would do this to my first born. It was only after he was nine-month-old that we realized that he could not hear.

Today, as a successful advertising professional, he helps his company brand products and attract customers with images that have greater recall value than words. Ask the man how he polishes his art and he leads us to Amita, his wife and his partner in disability. Together the two have built a world of dreams where noise pollution has no room.

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