In 2016, when Janhavi Panwar was selected to be a part of Anand Kumar's famous Super 30, it called for a huge celebration at her hometown in Panipat. The then 12-year-old had become the youngest student at the coaching institution. Today, two years later, Jahnavi continues to achieve great things, so much so that she has mastered 12 foreign accents and is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Arts from Delhi University, all at the age of 14.
In her second year of college now, Jahnavi has delivered motivational talks to several IAS officers and at educational institutes across eight states in India. Jahnavi showed an inclination to learn new languages at a very young age and her father, Brij Mohan Panwar, did everything he could to encourage her.
In a conversation with The Better India, he says,
When she was only one, her vocabulary was equipped with 500-550 English words. When she turned three, she wasn’t admitted to nursery but directly to senior kindergarten because she had picked up most things at home. As years passed, when we spoke to the school management, they realised Janhavi’s potential by looking at her scores, and she was given special permission to clear two classes in the same year.
Hailing from humble backgrounds, Jahnavi's mother and father are not very educated. Though her father is a teacher, he too is not comfortable with English and resorts to speaking in Hindi and Haryanavi. However, Jahnavi picked up different languages while speaking to tourists at the Red Fort.
By the age of 12, she had already learned many languages including French and Japanese, and could speak in several accents in English, like British and American, all by surfing the internet. Speaking about the process in which she was introduced to various languages, her father adds, “She would listen to it once, and will speak in the same accent. It was at that time that I started downloading BBC news videos. She would listen to an hour-long bulletin and within no time, start picking up the accent and speed with which the anchors spoke. I thought it could be something I should encourage."
This is when the Founder of Super 30, the institution which trains underprivileged students to join UPSC, IITs and other top institutions, discovered her potential at the Haryana Institute of Public Administration (HIPA) in Gurgaon. Anand took her into the institution and with no entrance exam, which is the ritual for other students, says Hindustan Times.