INTERVIEW Young Harihar Prashad, who won the International Championship in Group D in Bangkok, is on cloud nine naturally
R. Harihar Prashad created a small sensation at the Chennai airport, when he walked out of the flight from Bangkok with a shiny 3.5ft trophy. “People stared at me; they asked me if I had won it for sports. The officers wanted to know if it was gold; they even examined it!” he laughs.
Young Harihar won the trophy for art, for his creativity, for his interesting interpretation of the topic ‘Saving the World.’ Back in the city after winning the International Championship in Group D (13 years and above) at the 9th Global Art International Competition in Bangkok, Harihar says he couldn’t believe he had won when his number was announced.
“They followed a secret number system, and when my number was called out, the others from Team India started shouting my name; I simply ran to the stage to collect the trophy!” he says happily.
Then again, Harihar is no novice to art. When he was three years old, he started observing and drawing elephants. Later, he developed an interest in art, and, in 2007, joined the Global Art programme.
‘The very next year, I received a scholarship of Rs.1 lakh from them, and also won the national championship in Group B,” he says. Currently studying in Class 8 in DAV Boys Senior Secondary School, Harihar’s passion for art took him to Guangzhou, China, in 2008 (where he got the ‘Best of Best Award’) and to Bangkok this year, where he competed against 600 children from 10 countries.
Besides the encouragement he receives from his parents and school, his teacher at Global Art, Revathy Pradeep – who has trained him since 2007 – has been a great support, he says. “The emphasis at Global Art is on creativity,” says Jayashree Chinne, whose franchise in Alwarpet (at her centre Kalaa Manjari) has produced several champions.
Harihar’s award-winning picture is, indeed, a testament to creativity; his colourful drawing has a Statue of Liberty pedalling a bicycle to generate electricity to power her torch. A little boy in one corner blows bubbles, and each transparent sphere showcases ways to save the Earth, ranging from renewable energy solutions to a piggy bank that can store water.
“It took me two and a half hours to draw and colour it,” says Harihar adding that his victory has inspired many of his friends to take up art. He wants to serve people when he grows up, either as a doctor or an IAS officer; but art, he says, will always have a place in his life and he plans to pursue it as a hobby. For now, though, he’s delighted with his win. “When I finished my piece, I knew I had done my best. It didn’t matter whether I won or not; but I was pleased that I did,” he smiles.