The Grand Finale of the Sparsh Talent Contest was held on 16 January at the Indian Embassy in Kuwait. The finale marked the end of a year long journey started by five enterprising individuals, Aarti Rohtagi, Urvi Trehan, Minnie Murali, Jacob Oommen and Leslie Davis, all who aimed to provide talented children in Kuwait with the opportunity to showcase their skills and encourage them with prizes. The Indian Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Sunil Jain was the chief guest for the evening that was graced by a number of well-known faces from the creative arts and business fields in Kuwait.
After 14 audition sessions, semi-finals and finals, the long and challenging journey ended on a high note with the music band Soul Stirrers taking away the grand cash prize of KD 1000. The Soul Stirrers competed with other popular and talented acts that included winners from the final round of the competition as well as two wild card entries - one chosen by popular vote and one from the organizer's choice.
Finalists competing for the grand award included - Akash Raju Cherian, Anahita Singh, Chris Jose Koshy, Fahmeedah Faisal, Julia Anil Thevalakara, Jovas Xlncy, Mekha Rajesh, Mosses Kurian Mathew, Sharal Avarsu Maniyarasu, Kevin Mathew Thomas and groups such as Quantico, Beats & Rides, Light Years and Platinum.
Over 330 children competed in the competition through the various rounds. One of the organizers, Jacob Oommen said, “Sparsh is not so much in the business of conducting a competition as much as making memories in the lives of children. If we did it to just one lot of children, then it was all worth it.”
Sparsh marked a number of firsts throughout this year long competition with the live audience voting via SMS in the Grand Finale.
Throughout the competition, Sparsh also bought to the forefront many notable gems from the fields of music and dance in Kuwait – all of whom were honored with the coveted role of judging various rounds of the competition.
By Nita Bhatkar Chogle
Special to the Times Kuwait