Almost three months after the much-publicised Hackathon, an event organised by the planning commission across the country, the winners under various categories in Chennai are still waiting for their prize money. While those in the city have at least received their certificates, winners in many other parts of the country have not even got them, said participants.
Coders, developers, film-makers and graphics specialists were among those who took part in the event where participants had to create videos, infographics and applications highlighting the features of the 12th Five Year Plan. The two-day event was held in 10 reputed institutions across the country, including IIT-Madras. The national innovation council was a co-organiser. Deputy chairman of the planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and adviser to the Prime Minister Sam Pitroda, had inaugurated the event through video conferencing.
“We kept mailing them at the id given to us, but have not received any reply,” said a participant who won the second prize in the video category. The best entry in the visualisation category was to win Rs. 15,000, while those in the apps and short films categories were to get Rs. 25,000 each. Winners in each of the 10 locations and the toppers among online participants were to get the prizes. The entries were categorised into various themes — energy, education, urban development, health etc.
Facebook pages were created for every theme, but queries on these pages went unanswered. “We once got a reply that we will get our prize money by June. They had said they would facilitate continuous interaction on social media on the 12th plan but nothing like that happened,” said a participant.
Participants from the city recalled that many of them had taken days off from work or studies to participate in the event. “The organisers even said that the winners of a category would get to meet film maker Shekar Kapur. We worked really hard for two days, and spent at least a week studying the plan,” a participant added.
Over 1,900 participants had registered for the event, of which 160 were from Chennai. Planning commission officials said they were in the process of despatching certificates and the prize money would be deposited in candidates’ bank accounts soon. “We are processing the information on bank accounts. The money will be sent to the team leader soon,” said an official.