P. Karthik got a call from his school director early on Saturday morning, he was taken aback by what he heard. “You won the Google Doodle competition,” said the voice on the line. Dressing hurriedly, he and his sister Ramya rushed to school and ran to the computer lab.
They opened the search engine’s home page, and there it was. The boy’s doodle on a futuristic recycling machine in resplendent colour had won the Doodle for Google-2015 national-level competition.
Karthik, breaking out into a knowing smile, turned to his sister, his senior in Class IV at Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan, who too had been among the 12 finalists for the competition. Ramya and Karthik had stood first in Group II and Group I categories respectively but the latter bagged the top spot in the national level contest. The siblings are children of the school’s driver, who does not own a computer.
Sharing his joy with The Hindu , Karthik said, “I was really surprised as I expected my sister to win. This morning, when I opened the Google page, I was first taken aback. This is a real treat for us on Children’s Day as I was able to reach out to global audience with my doodle.”
That’s about as much you’ll get out of Karthik who, his father says, is an introvert by nature and a class topper too.
Ramya says that it was a wonderful experience to compete with lakhs of gifted students from across the country. “However, I knew my brother would get the top spot because I liked his idea: reversing the damage we have caused to the environment.” Ramya’s own entry focused on the concept of ‘green city dream city,’ Karthik’s doodle is about a machine that shows how non-biodegradable plastic can be converted into organic manure using solar energy.
On Saturday, his virtual invention ‘plastic to earth-machine city’ came into limelight, winning accolades from everybody. Fellow students of the siblings’ school have been participating in Doodle 4 Google contests for a couple of years, and some of them secured top spots in the group-wise categories in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
“But this is the first time that our students made a mark in the national-level competition. Of course, it is a proud moment for us,” said Ch. Vasu Prakash, director of Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan.
As a token of recognition, the school has decided to sponsor the education for the siblings till Class X. Ramya and Karthik’s father, P. Krishna, drives a bus for the same school. “Being uneducated, I used to feel bad that I was not able to help my children with their home work. Despite my hardships, I am impressed that my children were able to do well in the contest,” said the proud father.