The topic Magic of Hands brought out the imaginative best from the participants making it difficult for the judges.

They painted the same theme — Magic of Hands, but in strikingly contrasting styles and went on to share the first prize. These two Std. IX students — Midhun P. P. of Azhikode High School in Kannur, Kerala and Rupali Goel of Vishwa Bharati Public School, Noida, U.P. shared the first prize in a national-level competition.

The painting competition for students was held in connection with the 12 Triennial Congress of International Federation of Societies for Surgery of Hand (IFSSH) and the 9 Triennial Congress of the International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy (IFSHT) in Delhi recently.

The achievement fetched the winners Rs 20,000 each, besides Rs 2.5 lakh each for their schools, as the Rs 5 lakh prize for the winning School was split equally. The awards will be presented to the winners and their schools later this month at their schools.

“The human hand is an extremely complex organ and there are a group of plastic surgeons and orthopaedic surgeons who are interested in surgery of the hand. This also includes microsurgery by which surgeons are able to re-join totally amputated hands. This competition was held to increase the awareness of this specialty segment among the masses and also to make young children think about their hands and the functions the hand performs,” said Dr Sabapathy, chairman of the Dept of Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery at Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

The winners

A total of 48 shortlisted paintings won Rs 10,000 each. There were 34 students from Kerala and they bagged the chunk of it, followed by Tamil Nadu with six and Delhi with four and Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh with one each.

Dr. Rakesh Khazanchi, who was the secretary of the committee that organised the Delhi congress, said, “We all live by our hands. Even in this technologically advanced computer age, we are unable to make a very good functioning hand which can be used by everybody.”

Midhun, chose a thoroughly realistic subject for his portrayal: a modest family of potters moulding different kind of objects out of clay. “A lump of clay in the potter's hand is tomorrow’s earthen ware,” was the title of his painting.