Studies suggest that drawing is an important part of literacy development. Drawing can serve as a powerful means for developing children’s perception and thought. And when these children are given the appropriate environment, time and access to materials, it is not uncommon for them to spend hours on their drawings, expressing their thoughts, observations and imaginations as vividly as they can. Evidence of this was seen at an inter-school drawing competition held in the Thane city last month.

Organised by the Rotary Club of Thane Mid Town in association with Shiv Samarth Vidyalaya, the drawing competition saw over 200 students from 18 city schools participating. The winners were declared on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 at a function presided by renowned muralist Aarti Sanjeev

The participating students were divided into two main groups. The first group (class five to seven) were given themes like "Unity in Diversity," "Ganpati Decoration" and "Life in rainy season". Themes for second group, for class eight to ten, were more profound – "Bomb explosions in Mumbai," "Seven Wonders of the World" and "Cartoons depicting current affairs (a la R K Laxman)."

There were eight winners in all – three of each group and two consolation prizes. The winners were selected by a panel of judges headed by Vasanti Gokani, who teaches drawing at SES English School, Panch Pakhadi.

Architect Ulhas Pradhan who was also on the panel of judges said that the drawings were selected on the basis of many criteria. He said, "We looked for the human figures, which are rather difficult to draw. We also measured the depth of concept covered, the colour schemes used – but most importantly we tried to judge the visualising power of the child." Indeed, for imagine a child trying to illustrate the scene of a bomb blast and capturing the commotion after the explosion, in spite of not witnessing anything of the sort with his or her own eyes.

First come, First Served
Talk about enthusiasm among culture-crazy Maharashtrian people who will do anything to reserve a seat for the annual "Pandit Ram Marathe Sangeet Samaroh" show. This year, the plans opened on November 16 for the four-day show beginning on November 21. As usual, the booking windows of Gadkari Rangayatan, where the programme is to be held, had queues from the evening of November 15. The first person to arrive at the booking counter was Gunendra Phansalkar, a 65-year-man from Kalyan.

Many others soon appended the queue and spent the night at Rangayatan, waiting for the ticket sales to begin the next morning. Begin they did, only to stop three hours later, when the tickets were sold out.

Phasalkar will be honoured by chief guest Mohan Joshi – it has become customary for the organisers to felicitate the first purchaser of the ticket every year.

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