Thursday, February 23, 2017

Stamped, sealed and delivered

S. Keerthivassan won the first prize in a competition organised by the postal department and now his painting has been turned into a five rupee stamp

Seeing his painting become a postal stamp was a dream come true for S. Keerthivassan. The 14-year-old artist, story-teller and space admirer S. Keerthivassan’s painting of a tiger sitting in his habitat won this year in a postal stamp competition conducted by the Department of Posts, India. He sent his participatory painting in on December 14, 2016 and he knew his painting had won the competition on January 25.

A Habitual Winner

Although I have been painting a lot for a few years, this national recognition felt like a cool breeze,” he says. The acrylic on chart paper painting done by the standard IX student won him a cash prize of ₹ 10,000 and accolades from the Postal Department. This shows how there is a lot of awareness amongst the young people about nature and environment.” Keerthivassan has been doing himself proud for a while now. He has already won the first prize in a state level competition conducted by the Forest Department and the second prize in the art and literature section of another competition conducted by the Tamil Nadu government to motivate and encourage the interests of school children in these fields. Then he won the third prize in a state level competition organised by the Ministry of Power.

Making Time

Keerthivassan says his school teachers are very encouraging of his paintings. “They always support me and even praise my achievements,” he says. Also a short story and fiction writer by hobby Keerthi does not compromise with his studies in any way.

“After school I complete my homework and then in my spare time I paint, sketch, doodle and also write stories,” he says.

Keerthivassan’s father holds down two jobs, one in a publishing house and another in the building construction industry. He says, “Keerthi is a boy of many talents. He writes, paints and is also academically thorough. No one in our family has been like him so far. Every time he wins an award, our folks, far and distant, call to congratulate us.”

His mother, a home-maker, S. Vijaya Priya, says, “I take care of Keerthi. He is good with his academics and he paints only in the time he squeezes out of his routine, so that is fine with me.”

A space of his own

Three time The Hindu Young World prize winner, Keerthivassan says he is a little bit of both – a nerd and an artist. “I enjoy all forms of painting, but space science is my first love.”

His parents encourage him to do whatever he feels like. “He can go on to be a scientist or an artist, so long as he is happy, we are content too,” says dad Subramanian. So what does the future hold for him? “Painting and writing short stories are my hobbies, and I would not want to compromise on them no matter what.”

He is excited that the Postmaster General Sharda Sampath of Coimbatore region announced that he will be the Brand Ambassador of Philately.

“They wanted me to be the face of it. They can motivate the habit of collecting stamps among school children.”

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