UAE-based children-1687365665767
UAE-based children who participated in the live drawing contest for Father's Day with Anil Kejriwal (in the centre in the last row) Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: This Father’s Day, scores of children from various countries got a chance to pay tributes to their fathers through paintings and videos, thanks to an initiative by a UAE-based father- daughter duo.

Abu Dhabi resident Anil Kejriwal and his daughter Khushi ran the #WeHaveAHeroWeCallHimDad contest predominantly on social media and also held a physical competition in the Capital.

The Kejriwals ran the contest through the Artscrafts online platform which they had launched to support artists who were hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Dads are often the most unsung heroes though they are the heroes in most people’s lives. We wanted to give an opportunity to children to express their love and respect for fathers whose role is invaluable. We also wanted to help children salute their expat dads who work hard away from their families,” said Kejriwal, who is also an artist and philatelist.

Inspired by workers

He was inspired to come up with the initiative after he met some blue-collar workers who do not fly home to visit their families for three or four years to save up on their airfares for their children’s education.

The online painting competition received over 200 entries from 11 countries, he said. “Three winners each were chosen in categories aged below and above 16 and 25 others were given consolation prizes for participation. We also held an on-the-spot painting contest in Abu Dhabi in which 60 children participated.”

The prizes included trophies, medals, certificates plus cash awards in the case of senior children.

There was also a video contest through which children from various countries could express their love for their fathers with special Father’s Day wishes.

Kejriwal said he was particularly happy that the contests included children of some blue-collar workers as well.

Ritesh Kumar Dubey, an Abu Dhabi-based technician, whose daughter living in India took part in the online painting contest, said: “This is the first time I received a Father’s Day gift like this. I was really overwhelmed to see the drawing by my daughter Rani, who is 10-years-old. It really inspired me to work harder for her future.”