I remember when I was in Class 3 and it was few weeks ahead of the Children’s Day celebration at my school and I decided to dress up as a teacher for my school’s fancy-dress competition. At that age we all looked up to someone whom we admired and had considered our idols. For me, it was my mother. She helped me put on a saree, which she folded in half to accommodate my short height. I also wore her round-rimmed glasses, took my black slate and wrote down a few English alphabets on it which I would use as a prop to teach my students (audience)!
When my name was announced, I went up the stage and started my act by teaching alphabets to my students, from all age groups, including my teachers! It was a surreal feeling when they all started clapping and I felt it was an achievement for me, even though very small.
Dressing up for Children’s Day, eating candy distributed in the school, and celebrating the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru, fondly known among children as ‘Chacha Nehru’, are the memories of November 14, that I carry from my school days, but today, things have changed way more than that.
Today, children are ambitious and they are excelling in every field. They also have opinions on matters that are of great importance.
Here are some of the kid-changemakers, who are trying to do something different, unique, and impactful for this generation...
This 16-year-old Swedish school girl’s name is not unknown to the world. Greta, a vivacious climate change activist is the face of the ‘School strike for climate change’ movement, which saw various school children across the world getting out of their classrooms and protesting on the streets against climate change.
Her audacious, “How dare you?” speech at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in New York City, got both positive and negative criticism from world leaders and environmental activists. To reduce her carbon-footprint, Greta travelled from Plymouth, UK to New York City, US in a 60-ft racing yacht, equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines.
She was featured in TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2019. She was also nominated for 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, but lost to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali.
Samaira’s name is synonymous with coding. This 10-year-old inventor and coder started coding at the age of six and since, has been unstoppable. Samaira, an India-origin girl, is the Founder and CEO of CoderBunnyz, a board game that teaches players as young as four the basic concepts of coding. She developed the game along with her younger brother to teach children how to code.
Her feat in the software technology world has attracted the likes of Microsoft, Intel, and Google, who ask Samira to speak at their workshops. That’s not it. Kid entrepreneur, Samaira has also been applauded by the then First Lady of the US, Michelle Obama, who wrote her a letter in 2016 offering her words of support.
Nihal Raj is known popularly by his on-screen name, ‘Little Chef Kicha’. The eight-year-old chef from Kochi has won the heart of many social media users and food enthusiast with his cooking skills and techniques.
Kicha rose to prominence with his Facebook page and later his YouTube channel KichaTube, so much so that, Facebook even bought his Mickey Mouse Mango ice cream video for $2,000.
A class 1 student, Kicha might be the youngest entrepreneur, who started cooking at the age four. He even taught American talk show host and comedian, Ellen DeGeneres how to make puttu, a famous breakfast dish from Kerala, on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’.
The little chef’s website, kichatubehd.com has about 200 videos of his latest recipes which people of all age can cook with ease. His aim in life is not to become a regular chef but, an astronaut chef!
We all must have tried playing chess in our life at some point or the other. While we have faced varying levels of success, there are some talented minds who take the game to a whole new level, like 13-year-old Gukesh D from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, who won the Grandmaster title.
He learnt playing this strategic game when he was just seven-years-old and on January 15, 2019, he became India’s youngest grandmaster.
He has won the 11th Asian Schools Chess Championships 2015 in the Under-9 category.
Even after 70 years, World War 2 has not erased from our memories completely. And neither has the horrific, grotesque images of Holocaust. Whenever we talk about WW2, there are a handful of names that cross our mind and one of them is Anne Frank.
Since she was Jewish by birth, Anne and her family had to stay in a hide-out in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, during German occupation of the country. During her stay at the apartment, Anne wrote about her everyday life in her diaries, which were later published as ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’, and she became famous posthumously.
An aspiring journalist, Anne wrote in her diary, “I finally realised that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write ..., but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent ...”
Her family of four were captured and sent to concentration camps and only his father, Otto Frank survived the deadly holocaust that killed over six million Jews across Europe.
The winner of 2014 Nobel Peace Prize is a name familiar in every household. Standing up for her right and every girl’s right to education in Pakistan, Malala suffered a deadly attack by Taliban when she was just 15-years-old.
Following her attack, Malala got world recognition with the United Nations starting a petition by the name, ‘I am Malala’, demanding that no child will be left out of school by 2015. Her birthday, July 12 has also been dubbed as ‘Malala Day’, which marks her first speech at the UN for worldwide access to education.
“Malala day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy, and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights,” she said during her speech.