Sunday, May 26, 2024

Young minds turn trailblazers

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As the nation celebrates Children’s Day today, The Pioneer brings to you some inspiring stories of these young, talented kids, who have been an inspiration to many and have made their own mark from a pretty young age.

Tanisha Saxena

For many, our earliest memories of celebrating the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru, whom we fondly call “Chacha Nehru,” was dressing up in fancy attire, surrounded by inflated balloons and teddy bears, and eating chocolates. And why not? Children’s Day encompasses all of this.

However, times have changed dramatically. Children are at the forefront, voicing their opinions and doing unique things. Childhood or adolescence is an age of mitigating strategies to fight against injustices (in any form) and being equal stakeholders in society. This Children’s Day, The Pioneer brings to you a bunch of trailblazers.

Licypriya Kangujam, an 11-year-old Indian climate activist and founder of The Child Movement, is also the Special Envoy of the President of Timor Leste.

She said, “I look around me and I see children dying due to the war in Ukraine; in my own country, they are dying due to air pollution and the heatwave crisis; there are lakhs of children suffering due to flash floods in Pakistan; and girl children are out of school to fetch water from long distances in Africa. If this doesn’t ring the bell, then what will? This is a climate emergency! Sacrificing the lives of millions of children for the failures of our leaders is unacceptable at any cost. Why are we spending billions of dollars on wars? “Why can’t we spend it on ending poverty, giving education, and fighting climate change?”

Climate education is really important, and without climate education, there’s no climate solution. My generation is already going through a lot, but we can save future generations. Leaders should stop playing the blame game and instead take concrete steps to save us.

Hyderabad-based Sahithi Radha, a 10th-grade student known for her recycling e-waste initiative, shared, “One evening, my father asked me to clean out the old wires and devices, which sparked an interest in what happens to e-waste once it is disposed of. After some research, I learned that most of it contains cancer-causing carcinogens that affect those who work at landfills. I immediately made a simple business proposal and cold emailed around 25 contacts in hopes of gaining their support. I got a call back from the Recykal Foundation; they were more than happy to assist with the recycling process and provide guidance along the way. I roped in my friend Diya Loka as co-founder, and we started off with our first school, Sancta Maria. We’ve come a long way since then, growing to a team of almost a dozen people, collecting hundreds of kg of e-waste, and spreading awareness to around a thousand students. Our most recent drive at the Future Kids School was the most successful, collecting 235 kg of e-waste. By the end of the year, we will also be starting a chapter of E-Cycl in Bangalore.”

Hyderabad-based Laksh Reddy, the brain behind Bakesale, said, “I, along with my friends Rithwik Reddy, Karthikeya Durbha, Sanketh Mulpuri, Avishi Agarwal, Maanya Vodela, and Sanjana Manjunatha, came together to start a unique concept called Bakesale. We bake for about 1500 people, and the funds raised from the initiative go to families or individuals who are fighting cancer. My grandfather had cancer, and while he was ill, I wanted to do something to help those who were ill or their families. Further discussion with my friends made me realise that a lot of us have similar stories. Hence, we took the initiative. Our teachers, especially principal Shinjini ma’am, helped and supported us throughout.”

We have connected with OMBC, founded by Simran Oberoi, a community bakery serving the rest of the community in Hyderabad. Simran hopes to raise funds for other causes like street dogs, orphanages, and many more.

Chennai-based Lydian Nadhaswaram, winner of the CBS talent show The World’s Best in 2019, shared, “Since he was two years old, he has appeared on the American television show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. This isn’t a success. There is still a long way to go and much to do. I am just learning. I will soon release a world-class pop album, maybe by mid-2023. It’s easy to manage at this time, but I still will organise to find balance if I feel stressed, and I don’t want to stress much for fame other than composing and giving a beautiful playlist to all music lovers. It’s an amazing new experience to participate in such a prestigious parade, and I felt very happy as I am the first Indian musician to be a brand ambassador for one of the most prestigious organisations called “Talks about Triumphs” (US Arm-based).”

23-year-old Angad Daryani started his own company at the young age of 14. He informed us, “I came up with this concept called “praan”, which translates to “life” in English. It aids in creating safe breathing zones in toxic cities.”

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