These children inspire us to hope for a brighter future

The next generation of innovators and social campaigners are a bright spark of hope as many parts of India go into lockdown.
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A school in Tamil Nadu was recently in the news because of the students’ dedication to tending the garden and returning to school to care for the plants during the lockdown. Maintaining strict social distancing and taking all necessary precautions, the students were worried that the plants in the school would die if not watered daily.  

The plants had been gifted to them by the school principal to encourage a love for nature. It’s inspiring to see how the next generation is caring about matters that many adults tend to overlook. 

Here are the stories of children who have done inspiring things that create a sense of hope for a brighter future.

Indian-American teenager was named TIME's Kid of the Year.

Image: Twitter

A 15-year-old girl is named TIME Magazine’s first-ever first ‘Kid of the Year’ 

Gitanjali Rao wears many hats — scientist, inventor, author, baker, fencer, dancer, and singer. The Indian-American teen made to the cover of the TIME Magazine in 2020 for six innovations that focus on social issues and change through science and technology. 

These include Tethys, which helps detect hazardous chemicals in water; Kindly — a chrome extension — that flags cyberbullying using AI technology; and Epione, for physicians to track patients’ medication intake. 

She also hosts STEM workshops, which have been attended by over 30,000 students.

Gayatri with her family at her home in Bihar

Image: YouthkiAwaaz

Seventeen-year-old girl campaigns to get food for her village during 2020 lockdown

As we are all faced with the possibility of another lockdown and plan how we will get through that, the reality is that the majority of the population will still struggle to access even their most basic needs. 

One village in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district went into crisis mode in 2020 when rations were no longer reaching them, and all 910 families started running out of food. 

That is when Gayatri — a resident of the village — reached out to an NGO working in the area to prevent child marriage and publish their plight on social media. She also wrote to the district collector, sharing a list with the names of all the families asking for help. The district collector arranged for the necessary supplies to reach the village, thereby saving them from starvation.

While still in school, Aryan Gulati has developed an app that can detect COVID-19, lung cancer and other lung diseases

Image: Twitter

This student develops a COVID-19 detection application – LungAI

Aryan Gulati — currently a student at Bengaluru’s Christ University — was awarded the HRD ministry’s Atmanirbhar Bharat Ideathon prize while still a student at Delhi Public School, RK Puram, for developing LungAI — a web-based application that detects the COVID-19 virus and 16 other lung disorders in under five seconds. 

As the pandemic continues to rage across the country, Aryan developed a solution where the user uploads a CT-Scan or X-Ray to the app, which detects lung disorders, including lung cancer, in less than five seconds with 90 percent accuracy. 

A group of children in Gujarat donated money from their piggy bank for COVID-relief.

Image: YouTube

Children open their piggy banks for those in need

A group of children in Gujarat donated their piggy bank savings towards the COVID-19 relief in April 2020. Among them was four-year-old Pari Vyas, who wanted to donate all the money in her piggy bank, inspired by the famous people she had seen on TV. 

 

Moreover, three other children in the state also handed over their savings to their local police stations towards the relief fund. The money was used to help migrant workers, whose entire income was affected by the lockdown. 

Indian American teen Anika Chebrolu was awarded the 2020 3M Young Scientist Award for a discovery that could provide a treatment for COVID-19.

Image: Instagram

 Teenager wins award for finding a potential vaccine for COVID-19

Ankia Chebrolu — a teenager in Texas — was awarded the 2020 3M Young Scientist Award at the age of 14 years for a discovery that could provide a treatment for COVID-19. 

Her innovation is based on in-silico methodology to discover a lead molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  Although the initial basis of her research was based on finding a cure for the 1918 Spanish flu, she decided to shift her focus to the SARS CoV-2 virus with the help of her academic mentor. 

When not innovating in the lab, she practices Bharatanatyam, which she has been learning for nine years.

Edited by Suman Singh

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