GUWAHATI/ AGARTALA/ IMPHAL: Four children of four north-eastern States -- Assam, Manipur, Sikkim and Tripura -- were chosen for this year's 'Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar' (PMRBP) for their exceptional abilities and outstanding feat in different fields. Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with PMRBP awardees via video conferencing while Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani was also present in the virtual talks.
TanujSamaddar of Assam and KumariVenishKeisham of Manipur received the National Award in the 'Art and Culture' category while Sikkim's AyushRanjan and Tripura's KumariArshiya Das got the PMRBP in the field of 'Innovation and Sports', respectively. Little chess star 10-year-old Arshiya is the first and only girl chess player from the northeast India who received an international gold medal and is also a national chess champion. According to her father Purnendu Das, she began playing chess at the age of five and won a gold medal in the Asian School Chess Championship at Uzbekistan in 2019. Das said that his daughter also bagged gold medal in the National School Chess Championship at Raipur in Under-9 category while she is a two time bronze medal winner in the National Chess Championship in 2017 and 2019.
Arshiya has been awarded the 'Best Player of the Year' in chess for four consecutive years by Tripura Sports Journalist Club from 2017 to 2020 and she is the youngest international rated player of the state with an ELO rating of 1053 in 2017.
Das, a telecommunication engineer, said that during Covid-19 induced lockdown, she played around 500 tournaments organised by the International Chess Federation (FIDE), All India Chess Federation and many more club tournaments, all in online mode.
The 15-years-old AyushRanjan from East Sikkim district is a serial innovator and his interest lies in software development. Till now, he has developed many award winning software for which he has been felicitated at the national level, including DigiSmart Bin, a garbage billing platform which bills on how much you throw; Auto LPG Refilling, in which along with a device made by him one can place the LPG cylinder order before exhausting and thus save delivery time.
Ranjan also has developed MushroomArc, a Mushroom Artificial Intelligence (AI) Classifier, which classifies edible and poisonous mushrooms, thus saving millions of lives around the globe.
Manipur's 15-years-old KumariVenishKeisham is a talented painter. She has won several competitions, including first position in the International Online Art Contest in 2020 organised by Akm Kala Sangh, Pathankot (Punjab) and secured the second position in an international level Online Cartooning Competition organised by Art Affina in collaboration with Khalsa College of Education, Amritsar.
Venish, who won the Renaissance Award in International Online Drawing Competition organised by Creative Canvas in 2020, also sang a Manipuri song while interacting with the Prime Minister.
TanujSamaddar (16) from Kamrup district of central Assam is equally a talented artist in the field of painting. Samaddar not only paints with colour pencils, oil and water colours, but also with charcoal and acrylic. His artworks have been exhibited in famous art galleries all over the world and he has bagged prizes from many international organisations. He has won 10 international and 35 national awards in the field of painting.
In all, 32 children from 21 States and Union Territories have been selected for the PMRBP awards in the field of Art and Culture, innovations, scholastic achievements, sports category, bravery and Social Service. The each award carries a medal, a cash prize of Rs one lakh and a certificate and a citation. (IANS)