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16-year-old Coimbatore girl receives govt’s artist award

Sixteen-year-old M Madhuranthagi of Vasantha Nagar in Saravanampatti in the city has bagged the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd (popularly known as Poompuhar’s) Adutha Thalaimurai Kaivinaignargalukkaana Kaithiran Poti award, a honour to recognise and encourage the skills among the next generation.

16-year-old Coimbatore girl receives govt’s artist award
Madhuranthagi receiving the award from Rural Industries Minister P Benjamin


She received the award from Minister for Rural Industries P Benjamin at a function held in Chennai recently. It was a feat for Madhuranthagi as she had battled against all odds, including an infection in the brain, to win the award. 

As a child, she could recite the Tirukkural and it drew the attention of eminent leaders, including former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam. “Inspired by my father, who is a drawing master, I developed interest in arts and craft,” she said. 

She has done many different paintings using rice grains and other innovative forms of drawing. Among them is the work done for pulse polio awareness using 2.05 lakh rice grains in February 2015. “Madhu suffered from the infection from 2014 to 2016 when she was in class 8 to 10. She underwent four surgeries in which her skull had to be opened twice. For every surgery, she had to take a short break from school. 

In the CBSE Class X results she secured A1 grade by scoring 9.6,” her father M Manoharan, a part-time art master in a government middle school, said. The girl has won 12 awards so far, including two from the State Government. Last year, she got the Kalai Ilamani award from the department of art and culture. 

This year, she applied for the award meant to recognise next generation artists and drew the Poompuhar logo using 5,000 rice grains.

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