He completed his matriculation in 1945, with painting as a subject but was forced to give up the thought of further studies because of his father’s death. Santosh took up several odd jobs like sign board painting, silk weaving and white washing walls to support himself. Slowly, he began concentrating on commercial art and became a skilful papier-mache artist. In 1950, Santosh joined the Progressive Arts Association in Kashmir, formed as a result of painter S. H. Raza’s efforts to mobilize Kashmiri painters. He showed across India as a member of this association. In 1954, he won the government scholarship to study Fine Arts under painter N. S. Bendre at the MS University, Baroda.
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