Age is often perceived as a checkpoint on your road to accomplishment and success. For the longest time, the young have been taught to believe that success comes from experience and age, and that it is often a long, hard road ahead. But today’s youth begs to differ. They are not just young and fearless, but they are incredibly determined to pursue their dreams and goals with vigorous energy and focus. Many of these curious minds are behind some of the most mind-boggling and engaging ideas aimed at impacting society in a positive way. In this edition of WOW, we have four youth change-makers who are determined to make a difference.
Sunny Kumar Labh
21, Physics Educator
Elon Musk replied to his post on twitter. The aspiring physicist, Sunny Kumar Labh had that privilege. “I was thrilled and honoured,” says Sunny. He runs one of the popular science profiles on Twitter called Prof. Feynman along with other two profiles called Physics In History and The Piggs Boson. He said that Elon Musk has reacted on all of his three twitter handles.
Most of us struggled with physics in school, but for Sunny, physics was all he was interested in. Talking about his unquenchable passion, Sunny says, “My dad has always been my inspiration. He honed and encouraged me all along. I was sure that I wanted a future in physics since I was in the fourth grade.
“Science is what gave us vaccines and helps us fight Covid. I definitely want a country where Science is given more importance”
Now the 21 years old Sunny is not just living his passion but fervently sharing his knowledge. He says that people pay a lot of money to do courses in fields they are interested in but what about the ones who cannot afford it. Sunny believes that education must be free. Sunny shares an emotional story about an American plumber who thanked him for the knowledge he shares on Physics as he couldn’t afford to do the course.
Sunny plans to get a Master’s degree in Physics and eventually work on something that is meaningful and helps change lives for the better.
Pranjal Chalise is an art lover and a tech freak. Recalling his younger days, he says he spent days on end watching movies, and calls himself a proud Cinephile. However, his passion always remained in the tech field.
At 19 years he has achieved much that most just dream about. One of his inspirational projects is Dristi Nepal. It is an app that aides the blind community in cash transactions. Likewise, he invented an app that ensures the safety of women.
“I don’t see myself as a role model, but rather a pioneer”
“To make changes, we first need to identify real and relevant problems,” says Pranjal. He noticed the blind people around his community and made an app to help them. Similarly, he realised the need of an app for women’s safety and created one. Identifying a problem is one of the major steps to bring relevant change is what he believes.
Pranjal is the winner of WaiWai Glocal Teen Hero 2021 and believes that he is his biggest competition and the only motivator he needs in his life. Passion, dedication, hard work and confidence is what we need to achieve our goals, which are the exact factors that have led him to become and early achiever.
18, Wildlife Conservationist
Khusbu Bhandari, a wildlife conservationist, started rescuing snakes at 16. It was her father’s influence that led her on the path to becoming a snake conservationist, “For the past eight months I have rescued dozens of snakes on my own, but it was my father who who taught me to love animals. He is my role model”.
When she started out, she was told that as a female this was not the job for her because it was perceived as dangerous. She was stereotyped. But undaunted she read, observed and learned to create a special bond with snakes. She recalls, “I felt bad when people started gossiping about me. I felt odd but I was certain that I would not give up’’.
“I believe in collectivism. With everyone’s effort toward sustainability and development we are one step closer to change’’
When Khusbu started uploading videos of rescuing snakes on TikTok she was overwhelmed with the audience response. Her work got her admiration and appreciation and she had found a medium that would help raise awareness on conserving snakes. “I was happy when people came to me and said that they are more aware and less afraid of snakes”.
Her interest paved the way to Glocal Teen Hero platform where out of 611 participants, Khusbu made it to top six. Among emerging youth activists and change makers, this platform has elevated her confidence. Khusbu speaks passionately about the importance of youth in nation building and social change, saying, “We are the future of our nation, a sense of responsibility and duty should be on everyone’s shoulder to achieve set goals towards a prosperous nation’’.
Having been raised in a family with musicians, Shreya Rai always looked up to her father and aunt who are talented musicians. They inspired her to develop a career in music. “My aunt always used to hum after her music classes and I kind of fell in love with that,” says Shreya. She recalls singing from a very young age.
“Back then it wasn’t easy to find a song on YouTube like it is today,” she says. Shreya has actively taken part in many singing reality shows of Nepal. Some of them include The Voice of Nepal, Khoji Pravibha Ko-Kids & Nepal Idol. The Voice of Nepal is considered one of the most popular in the country. She reached to the top eight and was a semi-finalist from Team Abhaya.“I enjoy all genres of music but I was identified as a pop artist in the show.”
“I left nursing to pursue music full time”
Shreya’s passion for music is wholeheartedly supported by her parents. “I left nursing to pursue music full time,” says Shreya. She wants to create a album soon. Besides singing, Shreya is also fond of writing poetry.
The 21-year-old singer, Shreya Rai, is recognised as a promising talent and her dedication to her art is clearly visible in her achievements.