School students win nationwide wildlife painting contest

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Two students from Tamil Nadu and Assam have won a nationwide school-level wildlife painting competition held as part of the Animal Action Week (AAW) organised in 16 countries, the organisers said here Friday.

Rohit K.R. of SBOA School and Junior College, Chennai, and Prachurya Baruah of Maharshi Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Guwahati, won the first and second prize respectively of the ‘IFAW Young Achiever’s Award’. They were selected from 1,109 top entries from across India.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) partnered with another NGO Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to organise the event in October in the country.

The painting competition was part of the annual IFAW-Animal Action Week (AAW) celebrations held simultaneously in the first week of October in schools in 16 countries, including India, the US and Britain.

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio kicked off the AAW-2009, with the theme ‘Under One Sky – Why Animals Matter’, Oct 4. In India, 725 schools participated in the AAW.

Quiz competitions and group discussions, among others, were organised as part of the weeklong celebrations.

The winning entries were chosen from the finalists by Soumen Bhowmick, a visual artist and lecturer at the College of Art, Delhi and Amity School of Fine Arts.

‘Paintings by both Rohit and Prachurya were really good, very imaginative. They used appropriate colours to depict wildlife. They are well above average in their skills. I would strongly suggest them to join art institutes and develop their skills further,’ a statement issued by WTI quoted Bhowmick as saying.

Rohit KR, whose painting was awarded the first prize, is a class six student of SBOA School. He has won awards and consolation prizes in over 50 painting competitions at district, state, national and international levels.

Runner-up Prachurya Baruah also studies in class six in Maharshi Vidya Mandir SS School. With several awards for painting in his kitty, Prachurya aspires to be a scientist and an artist.

‘IFAW AAW is an annual affair aimed at promoting conservation awareness among young students and moulding their young minds to care for our natural heritage. Our heartiest congratulations and best wishes to the 2009 IFAW Young Achievers – Rohit and Prachurya,’ said Subir Ghosh Coordinator of WTI.

The IFAW Young Achiever’s award comes with a certificate and a cash prize.

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