These young girls have redefined the term 'prodigy' and made us proud!Sharika S Nair
These 10 young girls have vowed the world with their creativity, potential, knowledge, passion, and of course perseverance and truly deserve a standing ovation.
India is a land of opportunities and boasts of a diverse culture and a wealth of talent. These youths have showcased their talent across a plethora of fields. A few have proved themselves and stood apart from as early as eight months, earning! Such children are defined as prodigies. As a part of our “Awesome Women Campaign”, we bring you these 10 young girls who have wowed the world with their creativity, potential, knowledge, passion, and of course perseverance.
They are India’s precious daughters who continue to shine in all their endeavours.
At the age of 15, Sushma Varma, who hails from the outskirts of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh created a record by completing her MSc in Microbiology from Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar (Central) University (BBAU).
The daughter of a sanitation worker, Sushma’s genius was discovered at the age of two when she recited the Ramayana at a school function. That’s not all. Her brother Shailendra, who has achieved similar feats, is a prodigy himself, having cleared class 10 at the age of nine. Sushma would read his books when she was five years old.
At the age of seven, she was recognised by the Limca Book of Records for being the ‘youngest student’ to pass class X.
Mohini Dey has been described as a prodigy by several musicians and artists. The daughter of renowned bass player Sujoy Dey, Mohini was drawn towards her father’s guitar at the age of three! By the age of 10, she started performing at concerts. This 19-year-old bassist from Mumbai was noticed and shaped by India’s leading drummer Ranjit Barot. She has collaborated with leading stars like Zakir Hussain, AR Rahman, sitar player Ravi Chary, and Grammy winner Mike Stern. Mohini will be a part of the celebrated composer Quincy Jones 2017 tour.
Four-year-old Shalaka Sanju started showing an exceptional prowess in drawing at just eight months. Her uniqueness can be described by her colour combinations and drawings that are born out of her imagination.
Shalaka, a student of lower kindergarten at Choice school in Kochi, Kerala, was introduced to the magical world of story books, rhymes, art, colours, and play dough by her mother, Ashmi Sanju, who used to take her to rhyme sessions at a community library when her family was in Australia. This little girl, who takes just a few minutes to fill a blank canvas with her creativity, has held several exhibitions at her school and elsewhere. So far, she has five solo exhibitions and over 500 drawings to her credit. Her drawings range from trees, birds to comic characters such as Peppa pig, Rapunzel, and various movie characters. For each one, Shalaka has a unique story to narrate.
"Ladkiyan kuch bhi kar sakti hain." These are the words of Malavath Poorna who in 2014 became the youngest female to scale Mount Everest. When she unfurled the Indian national flag at the world’s highest peak, she was just 13 years and 11 months. Malavath achieved this remarkable feat in just nine months from being selected for a rock climbing camp near Hyderabad.
Malvath, who was born in a family of agricultural labourers in Nizamabad district of Telangana, had to struggle her way through to reach the top. Malavath was one among the 150 children who were chosen for adventure sports by the Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society. Twenty of them were selected for the training programme at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. And only two took part in the Everest expedition, Poorna being one of them.
Poorna’s story has inspired Rahul Bose’s biopic about her which will be released on March 31 in Telugu, Hindi, and English across the globe.
With over 4,500 line drawings and 35 paintings to her credit, Anavadya Deepak is the youngest artist in Asia to do so. Her next mission is to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. This nine-year-old artist is a fourth-grader at Siddhartha Central School in Kollam, Kerala. She is a self-taught artist who started drawing at the age of two and a half years. By the age of seven, she had started sketching cartoons and caricatures and now specialises in creating instant ones!
She has conducted about 13 solo shows and seven instant caricature drawing programmes, most of which were for raising funds for cancer patients and for palliative and heart care patients. This goes to show that this super-talented young girl is not only a prodigy but also a role model for all. She has also inaugurated several art functions and was featured in live television shows. It goes without saying that Anavadya, who can create a caricature in two to three minutes, has been honoured with numerous accolades and awards. She also has had the opportunity to draw instant caricatures of celebrities including famous singer Yesudas.
By the age of 10, Shrinidhi Prakash became a world Scrabble champion and finished writing four novels. Her mother registered her for the Child Genius contest where she won the title of the ‘brainiest child’. She can recall the order of an entire pack of 52 playing cards as well. She now lives in the UK where her family moved in 2010.
Ten-year-old Uthara Unnikrishnan is a playback singer who received the national award for her song ‘Azhagu’ in the Tamil movie Saivam, having sung it when she was just eight. Coincidentally, her father P Unnikrishnan, who is a renowned Carnatic and playback singer, won the same award in the male category 21 years ago!
Tiara Thankam Abraham, an Indian-American child prodigy, released her first album ‘Winter Nightingale’, a collection of nine holiday songs, in six languages last year. She is not only a child genius but also a talented child artist and painter. This 10-year-old, who entered college at the age of seven, started reading and writing at three and by the age of five progressed to the fourth grade. She has received state-level awards for artwork done at the age of three. Tiara is a member of Mensa, the high IQ society, scoring a 99 percentile on her acceptance thus making her one of the youngest to join it at the age of four. This young girl who is home schooled has big plans. She aspires to be a soprano opera classical singer in the future.
At the age of 12, Shalini Kumari, who hails from Patna, Bihar, designed an adjustable walker for the physically challenged. This adjustable walker is not like any ordinary one. It has spring-loaded, self-locking front legs and also a foldable seat that can be pulled out. The idea came to her when her grandfather met with an accident and had to use a walking aid. However, he couldn’t use it to climb stairs as it had fixed legs. She then developed this idea and sent it to the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) for which she received the National Innovation Award from then President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
Ananya Varma comes from a family of wonder kids. This five-year-old got direct admission to class 9 at age four! At the age of one year and nine months, she could read the Ramayana and Sundara Kanda. In the next two years, she will appear for the UP Board exams and might break her sister Sushma Varma’s (also featured in this article) record.
As the world encourages these girls’ outstanding conquests to flourish incessantly, here’s wishing the shining stars of the generation – ALL THE VERY BEST!