Winners to be declared on November 9; participants categorised into three groups

A few students from Coimbatore are eagerly waiting to know if their paintings would make it to the Google's homepage on November 14 to mark Children's Day. They are among the 45 school students who were picked up from among 1.5 lakh participants from across the country.

Four of the finalists from the city shared their excitement on being selected to the final list with The Hindu onThursday. Bhavika Dugar (Std. V), M.R. Lakshana (Std. VII) and Mahak Khemka (Std. VII) of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at R.S. Puram and R. Abhinav (Std. VI) of Stanes Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School are the young artists who made it to the final round.

The theme of the ‘Doodle 4 Google' competition was ‘India's gift to the world'. Various features of Indian culture like yoga, ayurveda, mathematical and scientific contributions made by the county, and various Indian art forms seemed to be the recurring themes in the finalists' paintings. Images of Gandhi and Buddha were also chosen by many. Bhavika Dugar's painting featured the cultural heritage and spirituality of India. Bhavika, who has won many prizes in painting competitions, is also a national-level swimming champion.

Mahak Khemka is a budding artist who has won prizes in many painting competitions. Her painting on the theme ‘Unity in diversity' portrays India as a democratic country where people who speak different languages and believe in different religions co-exist.

“I had heard the story about how God balances the planet on his index finger and wanted to portray that. I wanted to highlight how Indian culture is unique in the world,” said Lakshana.

Abhinav said that through images of Buddha and Taj Mahal, contributions in algebra, mountains and birds, he wanted to capture Indian life and the country's significance in the world.

Google had invited entries to the competition on October 15. Students from Standard 1 to XII from 350 schools had participated in the contest. The entries by 45 finalists were left open for public vote from October 24 to November 4. The winners would be declared on November 9 in New Delhi, the organisers said.

According to the organisers, the participants were categorised according to their age into three groups: Group 1 (Classes I to III), Group 2 (Classes IV to VI) and Group 3 (Classes VII to X).

The best entries would be chosen based on artistic merit considering the age, drawing skills and use of colours. Creative representation of the theme and use of Google logo were the other criteria. The supporting statement that explained the vision in the doodle would also be considered, the organisers said on their website.

“Google has sent two air tickets for each finalist to travel to New Delhi to attend the final award ceremony,” said Mahak's mother Minakshi Khemka.

According to the search engine's website, Google's Doodle designer Dennis Hwang would pick up the national winner. The first prize winner would get a technology starter package. His/ her school would be given a technology grant of Rs. 2 lakh, the organisers said. All finalists would receive a Doodle 4 Google certificate and a Google goodie bag, they said.