A doodle by a Pune schoolgirl artfully depicting the natural and cultural richness of Assam has been featured on day on the Google India homepage on the occasion of Children's Day.
Vaidehi Reddy, a class IX student of Army Public School, was adjudged the winner of this year's India Doodle4Google (D4G) contest in which there were more than a million entries from over 2,100 schools across 50 cities.
The winning doodle titled "Natural and Cultural Paradise -Assam" in which Reddy depicted the state's famed wildlife by sketching the one-horned rhinoceros, the tiger, tea bushes and bamboo trees. A woman performing the Bihu dance carrying a 'japi' (traditional hat) is also there in the doodle.
"I want to go to Assam because it is rich in both, natural beauty and culture. Its music and rich folk arts are also very good," Reddy said in her caption in the contest which asked the participants to draw their own doodle about "A place in India I wish to visit".
Her entry was selected by a jury comprising political cartoonist Ajit Ninan, Art Director Children's Publishing at ACK Media Savio Mascarenhas and Google Doodle team lead Ryan Germick.
The doodles were judged on three criteria - artistic merit, creativity and theme communication.
Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi congratulated Vaidehi Reddy and invited her to visit Assam along with her family
"I extend invitation to Vaidehi and her family to visit Assam. My government will arrange everything during her stay here. I also invite her to have breakfast with me," Gogoi said in a statement here.
"I congratulate her for depicting Assam so beautifully in her doodle design. She has showcased the state on an international platform. Her unbound love and affection towards Assam is commendable and praiseworthy," he said.
Doodles are the spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo in celebration of holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists who have helped shape history.
Since 1998 there have been over 2,000 doodles on Google homepages around the world. Themes based on India have featured on the Google page umpteen number of times and more recently on occasions like R K Narayan's 108th birthday (October 10) and the Lok Sabha elections counting day (May 16). Independence Day and Republic Day are featured every year.
On August 4, Google paid a tribute to legendary singer-actor Kishore Kumar on his 85th birth anniversary by dedicating a special doodle to him.
The doodle showed the late music icon's sketch replacing the L of 'GOOGLE' and borders with drawings of masks, pen and paper, camera and symbol of music, depicting his versatility as an artiste.
In 1998, Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin placed a stick figure drawing behind the second 'o' in the word Google as a message to users that they were "out of the office" attending a music and art festival.
From there the idea of decorating the logo to mark cultural moments was born. Users really enjoyed this quirky change to the clean Google homepage. As a result a turkey was added on Thanksgiving in 1998, two pumpkins for the 'o's appeared for Halloween in October of 1999 as well as a few others.
After two years of playing around with the logo on special occasions, Larry and Sergey asked webmaster Dennis Hwang to create a doodle for Bastille Day in France. Soon after he was appointed the chief doodler and doodles became more frequent occurrences on the homepage.
Users started seeing doodles for more holidays and starting in 2003 doodles for people's birthdays. The first being Monet in 2001, Picasso in 2002 and then Michelangelo and Albert Einstein six months later. Since then the amount of doodles and the variety of subjects have grown to celebrate a much wider array of events, holidays, anniversaries and birthdays of some of history's greats.