Chandigarh, January 23, 2009: A picture says a thousand words. And when almost 500 children came together with their colors, canvas, and creativity to paint the images of ‘Clean India’ they were able to say so much on sanitation and hygiene but with a new and fresh perspective. The event which was a part of ‘MOSAIC-09’ of on-the-spot Painting Competition was organized jointly by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi, UNICEF, Yuvsatta & GMSSS, Sector 10, Chandigarh.Around 500 students in the age group of 12 to 16 representing around 20 schools of the city participated in this competition, designed to test the creative spontaneity and artistic skills of young children and to provide them with a platform to unleash their hidden talent.
It was a memorable opportunity towards the end of the International Year of Sanitation to paint with the children and media to show solidarity for the shared vision of improved sanitation and hygiene. Mrs. Khushinder Sharma, the District Education Officer (DEO), was the chief guest and Dr. RK Atri, Chief Regional Manager, New India Assurance Co. Ltd. presided over the same.
Addressing the participants Mrs. Khushinder Sharma said "School-based, activity-oriented, hygiene education techniques- if appropriately implemented -can lead to sanitation and hygiene improvements beyond schools, into households and wider communities. Teachers and students can help parents and communities at large to realize and adopt better practices. In turn, once realization is there communities can be innovative in appropriate sanitation solutions, which are affordable and hence sustainable. The challenge is adoption of consistent strategies by the key players and capacity building of key facilitators."
Dr. RK Atri highlighted the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in bringing sanitation issues to mainstream. He said, "He must be happy today when hundreds of children are taking up sanitation issues through this creative process."
The winners of the contest were: 1st prize Priyanka Malhan of IS Dev Samaj Girls Sr. Sec. School, 2nd Prize Bhavneet Bhatia of Carmel Convent School , 3rd Prize Harman Sadwa of Mount Carmel School and three consolation prizes were awarded to Manmeet Kaur & Ruchika Preet Kaurof AKSIPS and Vishu Marwaha of Shivalik School, Chandigarh.
In the end Mrs. Indra Beniwal, Principal of the School presented a vote of thanks.