Sparrows may have become a rare sight in cities, but you can still wake up to their chirping every morning. Just adopt one. Or build a nest, mount it on the wall of your home and invite the tiny winged creature to come, chirp again.

A painting contest organised by the city-based Spoorthi Creative Art School on the theme “Save the Sparrow” ahead of the World Sparrow Day on March 20, put forward the above mentioned and a myriad other thoughts, urging people to protect the bird disappearing from urban set-up.

The competition, open for participation for school children of Vijayawada and Guntur cities, evoked good response with nearly 2,500 kids descending on the sprawling campus of Montessori Mahila Kalasala, the venue of the event held on Sunday.

Equipped with colours, paint brushes and oodles of novel ideas that they were eager to unleash on the drawing sheets, the children came with their parents in tow and headed to different classrooms. Using different concepts to convey their message through colourful images, they all arrived at a common conclusion – a plea to the mankind to protect the sparrow which is a vital part of the ecosystem and help save the country’s rich bio-diversity.

While the young participants were busy reflecting their thoughts on the drawing sheet, their parents had the opportunity to walk through a clay exhibition on the life of a sparrow, a collection of different birds put on display in cages and a photo exhibition showcasing nearly 500 images of house sparrow, in the auditorium. Overwhelmed at the response, Director of the art school G. Srinivas said events like these served dual purpose; besides honing painting skills of the children, they also served as a platform for the young learners to know all about a specific topic, in this case --a house sparrow. The participants were divided in four categories. N. Shashank Ram Manikantha bagged the over-all ‘Best Painting’ award. Among Super kids (Kindergarten), Munawar Ali Khan Gouse bagged first prize, Gayathri came second and P. Bhujakshi third. A special prize was given to Vinay. Among sub-juniors, Divya Kahali, T. Keerthana and S. Karthikasai got first, second and third prizes respectively while K. Vivek Chowdary was given a special prize. In juniors, Y. Vineela Chowdary, Garima Yadav and Ch. Jyosnitha got first, second and third prizes respectively and Lakshmi Meghana got a special prize.

In seniors, K. Akhila, Anushka Yadav and S. Vineela secured first, second and third prizes while R. Tanmayi got special prize. Besides, seven consolation prizes were given in each category.

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