KARACHI, Aug 12: Farhan, Alizah, Junaid and Sonia were declared the winners of their respective categories in an art contest held among students of various institutes for handicapped children.

The contest, organized jointly by the Ida Rieu School for the Deaf and Blind and a social worker Jimmy Engineer, in connection with the independence day celebrations, was held at the Maritime Museum, Karsaz, on Thursday.

Other institutes that participated in the contest were Darul Sukoon, ABSA Academy, Bahria College for the Deaf, Quaideen Special Education Centre, Shaheed-i-Millat Special Education Centre, and Vocational Training Centre for the Disabled.

Hearing impaired participants were distributed into three groups according to their ages - between 9 and 12 years; 13 and 15 years, and 16 and 20 years. While the retarded children were placed in a separate group.

The topics of the competition for deaf participants included: independence day, national heroes, seascape, portraits, landscape, culture. While the mentally retarded children were allowed to choose any subject of their choice.

The media used by the participants include pencil colours, water colours, pastel colours, charcoal, oil colours, mirror and glass, and canvas, etc. Rehman, Sheeraz, Asma, Bilal Ahmad, Sonia Fatima, Rizwan, Amnah, Usman, Sarwat, and others were given various prizes.

Jimmy Engineer, on the occasion, urged philanthropists to come forward and provide assistance, in any way they could, to organizations providing education, or vocational training to handicapped people, so that the living standards of the disabled people could be improved.

He said that handicapped persons in the western society were being provided many facilities, benefits, privileges; but here, they were even not given their due rights. He said that besides arts competitions and sports events, entertainment and fun and food programmes had also been organized for the handicapped over the years, in a bid to provide some relaxation to disabled children.

He said that he would leave for Sri Lanka in a few days where he would organize five entertainment programmes for the underprivileged children in various towns. This was aimed at providing the underprivileged children with some entertainment on one hand, while on the other hand, Pakistan, which was getting a wrong impression in the world, could earn some good will in the international community.