Meet Ishita Katyal: India’s Youngest TEDx Speaker and Author

A 10 year old who likes to dance and sing and loves to play basketball. She is an avid reader and digs into Enid Blyton and Ruskin Bond in her free time. And as she delves into “How I taught my grandma to read and other stories”, she forgets the world and enters a whole new dimension of her own. Isn’t she just an average Indian kid? But there is nothing average about this 10 year old. Ishita Katyal is the author of “Simran’s Diary” and also the youngest license holder of a TEDxYouth event in the Asia Pacific Region.

Ishita KatyalWho is Ishita?

Ishita Katyal from Pune, is a 10 year old author and TEDx license holder and speaker. She wrote a book called “Simran’s Diary” at 8 years of age and organized the TEDx Youth@Balewadi to become the youngest person to conduct such event. In her free time, Ishita volunteers to help the underprivileged in every way she can. She conducts workshops for children where she reads out to them and organize art activities, and also lends out help to boost their confidence and inspire them to chase their dreams.

Ishita as an Author

When Ishita first told her parents she wanted to be an author and she did not want to wait till she grows up for that,  her parents supported her and told her to go after what she wants.

“During my summer vacations, I didn’t want to waste my time and wanted to do something productive. “

This led to Simran’s diary, which highlights the way things go around in a child’s mind and the reason why they should be heard. Ishita’s book was first published on Amazon’s Kindle Store and later printed by Partridge Publishers.

Ishita looks up to her parents as her role models, especially her mother, Nancy Katyal, who has always been her grail of inspiration and confidence. Ishita gives in her 100% and is fully devoted to both her school and her dreams.

“Earlier it was very hard for me to manage everything – school, studies, TEDx, writing. Sometimes when I finished writing, I realized that I had forgotten to do my homework. Then my dad suggested me to wake up early in the morning. So at first I woke up at 6 a.m and then eventually I started waking up at 5 a.m. I would make a checklist of things I forgot, to make sure that I do them the following day in the morning”

At a tender age of 8, Ishita fervently chased her dreams and worked hard to make them possible. Usually she tries to dedicate at least 30 minutes to writing, while juggling school. She always finds time to write and never let anything hamper her determination.

Simran's Diary - Author Ishita Katyal

Ishita as a TEDx Speaker

Ishita was invited as a TEDx speaker at TEDxBhilwara event in July this year to share her story.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This is probably the most clichéd question that is asked from children. But Ishita has the most brilliant and unique answer for this.

“I think this question has an inherent problem. We are telling children that it is okay to wait to do what you want. It diminishes or undermines what the kid is capable of doing today and his/her present identity”

The way Ishita thinks and questions the very conventional way people approach issues clearly validates why she is one of the youngest TEDx speaker. She applied for a TEDx independently organised event in her school and in February 2015, she organized the TEDx Youth@Balewadi event. She urges out to the world to instill in the children the confidence that they can be whatever they want whenever they want and that they do not have to wait for tomorrow.

Ishita Katyal at TEDxBhilwara
Ishita Katyal speaking at TEDxBhilwara

Ishita’s journey

When asked to share with HerSaga the most memorable part of her jouney, Ishita had the most adorable response.

“My most happy and memorable moment was definitely when I was publishing my book. When I used to edit my story, every single minute I was like, “Oh my god, do I send this? Will it get published” and then I would sing this song to myself, “My book is going to get published!!” But it was always such a happy experience”

To Ishita, it was never about getting published. But her talent received the recognition she deserved and became one of the youngest authors in the world.

Ishita’s message

Ishita looks back to her second standard years as a “spoilt brat” age as she used to evade her studies to watch television, and so she urges kids to limit their television time and find time to read and do other things they wish to do. The one message she wished to send across to kids her age to find their dreams and to do what they want and not let the factor called “age” come in the way of their dreams.

Ishita had a different message for the adults.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So let the children study and let them have time to play as well. Let them pursue their hobbies without any pressure.”

Every one of us envisions a future for the world, but the eyes of a 10 year old sees it differently. When asked to tell us about the one thing that she would like to change about the world we live in, this is what Ishita said,

“I don’t understand why people fight unnecessarily. I would like to change one thing if possible, I would like to get into people’s brains and all those anger nerves and the nerves that make people fight, I will just cut them off. So that all that remains is a nerve that would make them laugh and smile and foster nice relationships.”

The world is a very simple place for children, but the very rainbow color image is polluted as they grow up. Let’s look at the world from the perception of a kid, and make it a brighter and better place to live in.

This is the saga of Ishita Katyal, a marvel and a prodigy. She did not let her age deter her, so what is stopping you?

Ishita speaking at TEDxBhilwara event




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