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Meet Ishita Katyal, the ten-year-old from Pune, who became the youngest TEDx speaker in the world. She had something very important to say.
“The next time you talk to a child, instead of asking them what they want to do in the future, ask them what they want to do now.” – Ishita Katyal
Meet Ishita Katyal, the youngest speaker of TEDx youth events in the Asia-Pacific region and one of the most confident, inspiring children out there. Ishita attended her first TEDx event in Pune where she, despite not understanding what the talks were about, was motivated to be a part of the change the speakers were creating with the audience.
Ishita, with the encouragement of her parents, decided to ask the organisers if she could be part of their team. After passing various Skype interviews with the TEDx organisers from around the world, she did.
She conducted a TEDx event at her school about the ways technology can make life easier. She also explained to her fellow students what TEDx is, making them aware of the possibilities and opportunities they have.
Ishita became the youngest Indian speaker at a TEDYouth conference, held in New York. She spoke the cold hard truth on how children don’t have to wait until they’re “adults” to achieve their dreams and how they can make a change in the world today. She always observed that children were asked the same mundane question that somehow led to the derivation of the child’s place in the spectrum of the universe. However, she realised that it is not what happens in the future that matters today, but what happens today that matters now.
Ishita has also adopted one of the best qualities of motivational speakers: she walks her talk.The young girl had always wanted to become an author and so she did. When she was 8 years old, Ishita wrote ‘Simran’s Diary.’ Simran’s Diary is an insight into the mind of a child and the wonders and experiences that the main character faces. Simran’s Diary was first rejected by a few publishers as they were expecting books for kids written by adults, not those written by kids. To which Ishita responded, “Wouldn’t a kid understand better what’s good for kids?”
It is important that we inspire the generations of tomorrow, something that TEDx did for Ishita. Ishita spoke not only to children, but to adults as well.She is a prime example of how children are the leaders of tomorrow, and that age is nothing but a number.
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Every daughter, no matter how old, yearns to come home to her parents' place - ‘Home’ to us is where we were brought up with great care till marriage served us an eviction notice.
Every year Dugga comes home with her children and stays with her parents for ten days. These ten days are filled with fun and festivity. On the tenth day, everyone gathers to feed her sweets and bids her a teary-eyed adieu. ‘Dugga’ is no one but our Goddess Durga whose annual trip to Earth is scheduled in Autumn. She might be a Goddess to all. But to us, she is the next-door girl who returns home to stay with her parents.
When I was a child, I would cry on the day of Dashami (immersion) and ask Ma, “Why can’t she come again?” My mother would always smile back.
I mouthed the same dialogue as a 23-year-old, who was home for Durga Puja. This time, my mother graced me with a reply. “Durga is fortunate to come home at least once. But many have never been home after marriage.”
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