The 15-year-old, Indian – American, young, brilliant scientist and inventor, Gitanjali Rao becomes the first “Kid of the Year” by TIME magazine for her amazing work in varied fields ranging from tackling the issues of contaminated drinking water, opioid addiction, and cyberbullying by using technology. She was selected amongst five thousand nominees.
Presently living in Colorado, Ms. Rao was interviewed by a famous Hollywood actor, who happens to be an activist herself, Angelina Jolie. In her virtual interview, she shared her process of doing her work. She said she observes things first, then brainstorm about it, which is followed by research, research helps in bringing about a plan which is then converted into action by building upon it and lastly communicate the end result.
Ms. Rao shared the astounding work that she did via the use of technology in solving the problems relating to contaminated water, opioid addiction, and cyberbullying, with that she also mentioned her mission to create a community globally consisting of young innovators and problem solvers from all over the world.
Humbled, honored, and excited! Special thanks to all my mentors, teachers, family, and friends who believed in me and supported me. Congrats to all the finalists and many of them are my friends @jordanjustright from @TheSTEAM_Squad @MightyRebekah @ElijahLee07. They inspire me! https://t.co/wr8EPhauw9
— Gitanjali Rao (@gitanjaliarao) December 4, 2020
This 15-year-old has such charm and charisma that holds the attention of everyone she meets, taking advantage of the same, she happens to put across a very important yet inspiring message to the youth of our world that they should not run on solving all the problems that they see, rather they should start one by one with those that excites them the most. And as she said, if she can do it, so can anybody.
Ms. Rao shared that her generation is living in a period where they are surrounded by two kinds of problems. First is the problem that the new generation is facing and second is the problem that the previous generation didn’t work upon and now is carried forward to the current one. New problems include problems like the coronavirus pandemic and the old ones are the problems like facing human rights issues, climate change, cyberbullying. Now they are the one who has to take care and find a solution to all such existing as well as the new problems with the help of the technology.
Some wise word of advice that Ms. Rao has to share is that she believes that even though there are so many problems out there, what is needed right now is to focus upon only one, something which drives you, attracts you, doesn’t matter even if it is small, what matters is taking a step towards it and making a difference.
On asking when she was sure that science is her passion, She replied that she always wanted to put a smile on people’s faces. She had a daily goal of making at least one person happy, which soon turned into bringing positivity in and around the community. She also shared that while she was in her second or third grade, she used to think about how can she use science and technology to create some social change.
Ms. Angelina Jolie asked Ms. Rao about whether or not she does things like a 15 year – old does, she replied that she did do a lot of those things during the quarantine period. She baked in ample amount. She mentioned the result wasn’t that good but she enjoyed it because baking is science too.
TIME appreciates her contribution, zeal, and enthusiasm and said “The world belongs to those who shape it. And however uncertain that world may feel at a given moment, the reassuring reality seems to be that each new generation produces more of what these kids have already achieved: positive impact, in all sizes,”
Team Shiksha congratulates Ms. Rao on her success and wishes her all the best in all her future endeavors.