The first public appearance of Commonwealth Games mascot Shera in Noida on Sunday coincided with the announcement of results of the country's biggest painting competition on the Games theme.
Despite incessant rain since early morning, it was fun unlimited for a large number of people, especially children, at Noida's The Great India Place Mall.
Amidst handshakes, hugs and photo sessions, children looked thrilled to meet Shera. The mascot is out to promote and spread awareness regarding the upcoming 2010 Commonwealth Games, India's biggest sporting event since the 1982 Asian Games.
Gaurav Tahakur, CWG's director (communication and promotions), told Hindustan Times: "The idea was to coincide Shera's appearance with other popular engagements for maximum awareness. Children met him and were very excited."
The day also marked schools from across states sharing the honours as results of the country's biggest painting competition - My Dream Sport - were announced. Noted artist Anjolie Ela Menon led the jury.
Shoobh Arts Group, in association with Lalit Kala Academy, held the event for students aged between 5 and 17 years. The best entries will be exhibited at prominent Indian art galleries and featured in magazines, besides being displayed at the Commonwealth Games venues as well as key locations across New Delhi and the NCR.