Proving Pablo Picasso's famous words right that "all children are artists", Kaleidoscope-2011, the annual on-the-spot painting competition organised by Hindustan Times Pace, attracted more than 1,000 students from over 250 Delhi/ NCR schools on Wednesday.
The students in the age group 9-15 years, armed with sketch pens, crayons and water paints, displayed their creative side, turning the green India Gate lawns into myriad colours.
Protima Naidu, an educationist with over two decades of experience in various creative fields, and Kirti Awasthi, an alumna of Sangeet Shayamala, Kolkata with a diploma in Fine Arts from Shantiniketan, were the judges.
The Capital took the centrestage when the topics 'The Delhi of My Dreams' and 'My Green Delhi' were given to the junior category students (Classes 4-6). Those in the senior category (Classes 7-9) were told to visualise on 'Delhi's Changing Landscape' and 'Delhi-The Cultural Capital'.
"It's a beautiful view from here. Children seem to be enjoying painting in the open, with the India Gate acting as an inspiration for them," said Awasthy.
Naidu shared similar thoughts and said, "The India Gate is a perfect setting for these children to come up with a creative insight for the city. I know for sure that coming together to paint will lead to a sense of camaraderie among students."
From knife painting to simple crayons, children used a wide variety of techniques to depict Delhi as the green city as well as the cultural capital of the country.
"Our aim is to engage students in various activities and unleash their creativity. It is also important to sensitise them towards relevant issues and what better way than asking them to paint their imagination," said Annapoorna Sehgal, head, education at Pace, Hindustan Times Newspaper in Education initiative.
Asked about how they felt about the competition, Rwit Panda, a Class 5 student of Ryan International School, Vasant Kunj, said: "I feel great to be a part of this mega event. I would love to come here every year and show my creative side to other students and the judges."
An interactive session was also organised for teachers accompanying the students, which was conducted by Rajesh Narula. He talked about inter-personal relations and kept the teachers engaged. Magician Sumeet Kharbanda entertained the students after they were done with their paintings.
Prateek from Govt Boys Sr Sec School, Nangloi, bagged the winner's trophy in the junior category while Dishaddra Poddar from Ryan International, Mayur Vihar, came first in the senior category. Poddar had also won the Pogo Amazing Kids artist of the year award in 2010. Vaibhav Butola from Mount Abu Public School, Rohini, and Pranav Kumar from DAV Public School, Sector 6, Dwarka, bagged the first and second runners-up trophies, respectively, in the junior categories.
In the senior category, Surbhi Gupta from Ryan International School, Gurgaon, and Mohit from Evergreen Public School, Vasundhara, won the first and second runners-up trophies, respectively. Three consolation prizes were also given in each category. Pidilite Industries Limited sponsored the prizes.