Celebrating Young Indian Girls Breaking Ground Globally

Young Indian Girls Breaking Ground-Shristi Goswami-Ridhima Pandey-Gitanjali Rao, National girl child day

On National Girl Child Day, we look at how young Indian girls are driving activism across important global issues. From climate change to cleanliness in cities, these young girls are doing what adults failed to understand, recognise and execute.

Ridhima Pandey

12-year-old climate activist, Ridhima Pandey hails from Haridwar, Uttarakhand. She along with Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg and 14 other child activists filed a complaint with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child against five respondent countries, Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey. The petition called out the countries as the largest pollutant emitters in the world. They also indicated the lack of government action on the climate crisis.

Her first-ever initiative associated with activism began in 2017. Ridhima had petitioned India’s National Green Tribunal to direct the central government to take “effective, science-based action to reduce and minimise the adverse impacts of climate change in the country” in the Uttarakhand floods of 2013.

Despite the criticism that the young activist is getting, Ridhima is unbothered and continues to fight for nature and climate.

Anika Chebrulu

14-year-old Anika Chebrulu initially begun working on ways to fight the seasonal flu. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed her aim. This Indian American girl was awarded a $25,000 prize for her research to find a treatment for the coronavirus. Currently living in Texas, she developed an anti-viral drug for COVID-19 by researching protein spikes in the ongoing pandemics.

After winning the prize at the 2020 3M young Scientist Challenge, she said that she wants to be a medical researcher and professor one day. She added that t her grandfather inspired her interest in science.

Gitanjali Rao

The 15-year-old Gitanjali Rao became the first-ever ‘Kid of the year’ 2020 by TIME for her brilliant work in science. She was nominated from a field of more than 5,000 nominees to the same category. In her interview with Angelina Jolie, she said,” I do not like the typical scientist and everything that has been shown on television is more like that an older white man as a scientist and it’s weird for her to adapt that people had assigned roles, regarding their gender, age and the colour of their skin.

Speaking about her innovation and her work, Rao said that she follows a pattern of “observe, brainstorm, research, build, communicate”.

From contaminated water issues to cyberbullying, Rao’s work explores science and technology in all fields.

Shristi Goswami

On the occasion of National Girl Child Day observed on January 24, 2021, Shristi Goswami will become Uttarakhand Chief Minister for one day. Hailing from Haridwar, Goswami is a B.Sc Agriculture student.

Her father runs a small shop in the village and her mother is an Anganwadi worker. Srishti Goswami was selected as a lawmaker of the child assembly in Uttarkhand back in 2018. Later she had attended the Girls’ International Leadership conference in Thailand.

Her father describes her as a brilliant child who wants to work for the upliftment of girl students everywhere.

Suhani Bisht

It took a 16-year-old to grab the attention of authorities of the dilapidated condition of a road in Uttarakhand. Suhani Bisht, is an aspiring journalist who took the initiative to report the substandard condition of a road in Dewarkhadora village in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district.

The local people had already complained and protested about the crumbling road, but no authorities turned their heads. That is when Bisht decided to record a video showing and explaining the poor and dangerous condition of the road.

After the video was posted inline and went viral, the road was re-laid within 12 hours. Indeed, the voice and guts of a 16-year-old had saved the lives of many.

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