The Optimist Citizen

This 10 Year Old whiz kid is the Youngest Indian to speak at TED Youth conference

“Standing here today, I urge all of you, that next time when you talk to you a child, instead of asking them what do they want to do in the future, ask them what do they wish to do now? Ask them what is their idea of a better word? Tell them that age is just a number, the earlier you start, the better it is. This would allow you all to empower our generation faster than any other generation. Thank you!.”And this is how 10 year old Ishita Katyal ended her Tedx Talk in Bhilwara and left the audience in awe. “What do you want to do now?” was the theme on which Ishita delivered her talk and left everyone dumbstruck with her poise and intonation. She gave the spectators a reality check that kids also think, children too can make a difference irrespective of their age.

Ishita’s TED journey started back in 2013 when Ishita along with her mother visited a TEDx event in Pune. She couldn’t deduce all of the speaker’s ideas but she was dazzled by their dreams that could one day change the world. Once she realized she had that titillating desire in her herself as well, there was no looking back. She went onto clearing two skype interviews with Global volunteers at TEDx and became their youngest youth organizer in the Asia-Pacific region. She successfully organized a TEDx event at her school and soon the opportunity to speak at the TED Youth Conference in New York came her way. The entire trip was funded by TED and Ishita become the youngest Indian to speak at New York’s TED Youth conference.

Ishita Katyal at TED Youth Conference in New York
Ishita Katyal at TED Youth Conference in New York

Gifted with a sheer talent of writing, Ishita wrote her first book,”Simran’s Diary,” during a summer break when she was barely 8. “ I wrote Simran’s Diary because I did not want to waste my vacations and wanted to utilize my time properly” says Ishita. She self published her books at Amazon’s Kindle and later was discovered online by Patridge Publishers who got her into print. A 5th grade student, studying in Vibgyor High School, Balewadi, she laughs when asked about how she proposes to scrutinize all of the events she is determined to vocate on along with her on-going studies. She says, “I often forget on doing my homework, but when one does what they love, the rest of the things fall into place.” Supporting Ishita in all her thick and thin, Ishita’s mother is proud of her achievements and speaks high about her daughter. “Ishita is very clear about what she wants. It is amazing to see how a 10 year old could posses so much of clarity. She has always been very passionate about speaking, ever since the age of 4 and even received an award for her speech at the Kids Carnival at that age.” says Ishita’s mother.

This 10 year old whiz-kid has shifted the paradigm which believes that, children are incapable of making decisions that can alter the future. Her entire plan revolves around working with community children to empower them for a better tomorrow.



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