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United colours of Mumbai

Parents, students teamed up to express their creativity with the paintbrush, depicting how they spent No TV Day together.

mumbai Updated: Jan 29, 2012 01:21 IST
Sucharita Kanjilal

For Nabiha Siddiquee, 10, a painting contest at her school turned out to be the perfect way to spend time with her father. Usually busy working on Saturdays, the lawyer decided to take the day off to participate in the contest with his daughter. The father-daughter team peered over their sheet with crayons trying to create an accurate image of the Hanging Gardens at Malabar Hill.

“We are attempting to draw the Hanging Gardens, but it might turn out to be just a garden as I am not too good at drawing,” laughed her father, Rizwan. “Regardless of the artwork though, I think this was a lovely way to spend time with my daughter.”

Nabiha was pleasantly surprised when actors Tusshar Kapoor, Prateik Babbar and Amy Jackson walked into their class to be part of the fun and support the campaign. “While my work is featured on television, I can always encourage the children to reduce the amount of TV they watch, which is often too much. The event was fun and a good way to encourage people to balance out their daily activities,” said Tusshar Kapoor.

Around 34,000 parents and children participated in the Hindustan Times No TV Day painting contest that was conducted in 80 schools over the past three days. The theme of the contest was ‘How I will spend No TV Day with my family in Mumbai’. Each team was given a large sheet of paper and about one and-a-half hours to complete their drawings using any art supplies that they wished to.

“I’m here with my mother and younger sister. The Byculla zoo is the perfect place to spend a day when not watching TV and our painting depicts that,” said Shriya Jajula, a Class 6 student of City International School, Oshiwara.

Popular features in the artwork included Marine Drive, Rambo Circus, Tarapurwalla Aquarium and playgrounds. But some students chose this as an opportunity to let their creativity abound. Unusual drawings included those of television sets crying as people switched them off, slogans which read ‘turn off TV, turn on happiness’ and even a collage that depicted every perceivable outing in the city, all on one sheet.

“The response from the children was excellent in our school. More than 100 students participated and we were amazed at the quality of art the contest brought out in them,” said Khairunnisa Merchant, primary coordinator at Beacon High School, Khar.

At Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri, the contest was conducted as part of Republic Day celebrations on Thursday. Eighty-eight students participated enthusiastically. “Many of our students believed that Juhu Beach is the ideal place to spend a day with their family. This, among other Mumbai hotspots, were featured extensively in the paintings,” said Arun Awasarmol, a teacher at the school.