The inclement weather notwithstanding, invited students from places as far as Salem and Mayiladuthurai turned up well in time in large numbers for the The Hindu Young World Painting Competition 2009, and fully occupied the Barbier Hall of St. Joseph’s College here on Sunday.

Making light of the steady drizzles, as many as 320 out of the 400 invited students who were chosen out of 2006 entries – 1,400 Juniors (Standards IV to VII) and the rest seniors (VIII to X) – stepped into the hall with high expectations for the awaited NIE (Newspaper in Education) initiative. For each category, 200 were chosen from the prelims stage out of the entries received from schools in 11 districts covered by Tiruchi edition.

The topics were quite familiar to youthful imaginations: ‘a day at the beach or zoo’ or ‘evenings at the park’ for juniors, and ‘landscape – rice fields, mountains, rivers’ or ‘your favourite place in city’ for seniors. Immediately after the topics were announced, the brushes began to do the talking on the white sheets. Students began capturing their visualisations with controlled strokes, using a dash of colours suiting their aesthetic tastes.

The ideas of one section were excellent though the presentation and the choice of colours did not match up convincingly. Mostly, the best among paintings with the right ideas and presentation were the ones that won consolation prizes – seven in each category. And the winning paintings were essentially those that had the ideas, presentation and the right choice of colours matching the natural settings. "Painting is all about a right combination of the three factors," explained the judges M. Ayyappa and M. Rajappa, professional artiste brothers of Pudukkottai.

Of the twenty prizes, R.S.K. HSS, Tiruchi, accounted for five prizes, including the first and second prizes in the Junior category. Members of the team from SBIOA, Tiruchi, bagged two prizes: third in the seniors category and a consolation prize in juniors. Students from Sri Vidya Bharathi Matric HSS, Salem, won two consolation prizes.

Senior winners were (first to third): J. Venkatramanan of std. X (he has retained the first prize for the second consecutive year), D.B.T.R. National HSS, Mayavaram; S. Priyadharshini, standard IX student of St. Joseph’s Matric HSS, Salem; and J. Pravin of St. IX, SBIOA Matric HSS, Tiruchi. The consolation prize winners were N.V. Shakthi Hari (std. IX) of Aditya Birla Public School, Ariyalur; J. Bhagyashree and R. Elakkiya, std. IX students of Sri Vidya Bharathi Matric HSS, Salem; P. Leo Selva Prathish (VIII) of S.R.V. Matric HSS, Samayapuram; Ra. Guhan (VIII) of Sri Akilandeswari Vidyalaya, Tiruchi; M. Muthumani (IX) of P.A. Vidya Bavan HSS, Karur; and M.P. Ranjani (VIII) of R.S.K. HSS, Tiruchi.

Juniors: K.R. Kiran (VI) of R.S.K. HSS; M. Muhil (VII), also of the same school, and K. Sharath Chandiran (IV) of Sri Vidhya Bharathi Matric HSS, Salem. Consolation prize winners comprised P. Sangavi of R.S.K. HSS; A.Prasath (VI) of Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Tiruchi; J. Ronisha Christina (VI) of R.S.K. HSS, Tiruchi; R. Robinson (VII) of St. Joseph’s College HSS, Tiruchi; V. Krithikaa Dheee (VII) of SBIOA Matric HSS, Tiruchi; T.S. Pavithra (VII) of Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Nagapattinam; and S. Dhanush (IV) of Good Shepherd English School, Nedungadu, Karaikal.