Gurugram (Haryana): Contributing to the empowerment of those less privileged than themselves, seems to be a powerful motivator for our new generation”>new generation of Indians. Many children in metropolitan cities are spending their free time developing applications and content to benefit the wider community, especially those less privileged than themselves.
One such story that has come across relates to Kartikeya Thiyam Sundaram, Head Boy at the G D Goenka World School in Sohna, Haryana.
Kartikeya, a world No.1 in information technolgy in the Cambridge International Examinations in 2016, is today a Grade XII student. Despite having a very demanding academic schedule, he exemplifies the modern generation of Indian who are socially connected and want to empower their less privileged peers.
In 2016, during his internship with the UTSAV Foundation in Gurgaon, he wrote a book “Digital Learning”. This book is being widely used by multiple NGOs across India to teach the use of computers to the underprivileged – both children & adults. Multiple batches of students have benefited from the program outlined in the 60-page manual
This manual, published in both Hindi and English has illustrations and links to relevant YouTube videos, especially those in the vernacular language, so as to make it intuitive for students to learn the basics of how to use computers.
When asked what motivated him, Kartikeya said, “The government’s Digital India campaign got me thinking on what each of us could do to contribute more effectively in our individual capacity, to supporting our communities and enabling social empowerment.”
A official of the Union Ministry of Skill Development commented, on condition of anonymity, “Such initiatives send a powerful signal to our coming generations that a lot of social change can be driven by independent local initiatives that impact the community and develop society. Individual citizens and their efforts can significantly increment government initiatives.”
Kartikeya has also been successful in creating a crowd funding campaign on social media to generate online donations for Anjana , a 38 year lady who lives in Rishikesh.
Anjana is born without both arms and has just one functional leg. However, despite her physical limitations, she independently supports a family of six by making sketches with her toes while sitting on a footpath leading towards the Ram Jhoola in Rishikesh.
Her positivity and never say die spirit inspired Kartikeya and a friend to create a crowd funding campaign called “Saving Anjana” that has till now secured almost Rs.400,000 for her future. Kartikeya is now trying to reach out to corporations to contribute under their respective CSR entities to secure Anjana’s future.
A recent incident where private photographs of a female student where leaked by a peer on WhatsApp angered Kartikeya deeply. That incident triggered in Kartikeya a plan to initiate the development of a mobile app “Safe Schools” that makes school environments more secure and inculcates a sense of responsibility among students.
The app is currently under construction by Kartikeya, will allow students to report instances of inappropriate behaviour, sexual harassment, drug abuse and other malpractices in their school environment to the school administration, anonymously or directly.
Kartikeya believes this app would allow students to work in collaboration with their school management and become more responsible citizens.
The G D Goenka World School, Sohna, has already accepted to be the lead school for the launch of the app, once its fully developed by Kartikeya later in the year.
Dr. Neeta Bali, Principal and Head of School, said, ” Kartikeya represents the new generation”>new generation of Indians who have empathy for their less privileged peers and a willingness to go that extra mile to make a difference socially. Drawing their inspiration for being sensitive to their environment.
Many modern Indians like Kartikeya are moulding our country and it is the coming generation that aims to be socially responsible and create a better India.”