Painting contest organised as part of Navy Day celebrations

Afflicted by autism, he doesn’t like to talk much. But, 12-year-old Hemanth (name changed) expresses himself through paintings.

A student of Sankalp, a school for special children run by the Naval Wives Welfare Association, has a photographic memory that captures any object he sees on the white canvas.

Slow fine motor skills and an extremely introvert nature do not come in the way of his creativity.

He was one of the hundreds of students who gathered at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Sunday to participate in the painting competition organised by the Fleet Maintenance Unit of the Eastern Naval Command.

Setting off the month-long activities, comprising over 19 events, scheduled to culminate in the Navy Day celebrations on December 4, Pratibimb-13, the painting competition, saw participation from nearly 1,400 students from various schools.

The competition was held for children under three categories — sub-junior, junior, and senior. Themes of sail-boat at sea and visit to Diwali mela were given to the sub-junior group. The themes for the junior group were Vizag port, harbour, coast, and life under sea. Wildlife protection and Indian Navy and maritime security, Navy Day celebration on RK Beach, and maritime resources for national prosperity were the themes for the senior category.

Two special categories were also included for the speech and hearing impaired and the differently-abled children.

Admiral Superintendant, Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam, Rear Admiral A.K. Saxena, was the chief guest and Head of Department of Fine Arts, Andhra University, C.R.S. Patnaik, was the guest of honour on the occasion.

Recounting his high school days, Rear Admiral Saxena said drawing was given as an option for the third language along with Telugu for Class 10 students. “I had selected drawing as my third language and I found it a refreshing thought that the medium of drawing was considered as a language,” he said.

At the end of the two-hour event, the participants came up with bright and colourful displays of the themes. The event was judged by artists Anita Rao, Chanchal Agarwal, Commander Sudip Sen, and Ramakrishna, an art teacher at Navy Children School.

Awards for the winners will be presented on November 20 onboard an Indian Naval Ship during the ‘Day at Sea’ programme.

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