The prestigious Diana award is bestowed upon boy wonder – Shreenabh. A proud moment for the nation.
Throughout the course of human history, there have been these rare occasions where geniuses have sprouted out of the most unlikely of places. These young prodigious talents are often referred to as child prodigies or gifted children. These gifted children show high-performance capabilities both intellectually and academically at a very young age. Though there is a paucity of research on such children, we are given to understand that there is an increased cell production in their brains, and the neurons of a gifted child seem to be biochemically more abundant. This implies that they can process a vast amount of information and complex thought with an optimum level of proficiency. The brains of such children are very adept at concentration, attention, investigation, and inquiry.
Shreenabh Agrawal of Nagpur, Maharashtra, is one such child prodigy that is taking the world by storm with his unique innovations and achievements. This article hopes to decipher and recount the astounding life of this child genius.
The Genesis of a Genius
Mothers, as is their wont, are always the first to recognise a child's unique abilities. Shreenabh's mother, Tinu Agrawal, was the first to recognise her son's prodigious talent when she observed his astonishing memory and mesmerising creativity at the age of three. From a toddler smudging and splodging paint, he quickly metamorphosed into a pint-sized artist churning out stunning pieces of art.
His memory as a toddler was even more stupefying because he could memorise and recount lengthy and complex scriptural passages at will. This is when his parents realised that they had a gifted child at home. They also realised that they needed to tread very carefully with his upbringing in order to unleash the full potential of his gifts. The genesis of this genius is best expressed by his mother: “He seemed to have emerged fully formed at birth — his talents already developed and his gifts fully ripe.”
The Hands that helped Unravel the Labyrinth of his Mind
The most crucial aspect of a child's development is the role of a parent and this role becomes doubly important in the case of child prodigies. A large part of the credit for Shreenabh's success goes to Shreenabh's parents — Tinu Agrawal and Dr. Moujesh Agrawal. Initially, they may have found their son's special ability beyond their comprehension but they didn't let that deter his meteoric evolution. The moment they realised they were blessed with a prodigious talent, they decided to become the guiding hands that helped their son to unravel the labyrinth of his extraordinary mind.
When they noticed he was bored with childish toys, they quickly understood his special intellectual needs and got him books that stimulated his mind. When they saw the ease at which he was solving complex abstract problems with a high level of logic and reasoning, they helped him take part in many contests and exams, including the Gauss Contest conducted by the Association of Mathematics Teachers of India, which he cleared with relative ease. When they were caught in a conundrum of whether to rein in their son's rapid development, so that he can have a normal childhood, they consulted experts on gifted-children, who assured them that they were on the right track.
Even though Shreenabh's parents are proud to witness their son scale up the ladder of greatness, yet nothing gives them more joy and comfort than watching him have a happy childhood — laughing, playing, and socialising with a plethora of his friends as he gradually transitions into adulthood.
The Ascent towards Greatness
As a student of Chanda Devi Saraf School, he's blazed a trail of his intellectual wizardry by acing every academic subject in the curriculum. He's especially drawn to the areas of science and research which is best exemplified by his numerous innovations in the field. This keen interest in science led him to complete two courses in physics from IIT Kanpur. He also went on to win the title of Himalayan-2016 by acing the Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan (VVM) held at IIT Delhi — a scientific talent search examination. His strong affinity to science leads him to apply STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) to solve social problems.
But perhaps the best vindication of his prodigious talent came at the culmination of his school life when he scored 99.2 percent in the ICSE examination. The sheer magnificence of those numbers still didn't come as a surprise to Shreenabh's friends and family because, by then, they were accustomed to his brilliance.
Innovating for Humanity
There is a school of thought that gifted-children may not have the emotional intelligence to function seamlessly as a part of society. And that they may lack the general level of empathy required to understand and deal with less gifted people around them. But Shreenabh has dispelled all such misconceptions with his innovations specially designed to help less fortunate people around him.
Since 2009, over 40 children have lost their lives after falling into open borewells, and quite bafflingly, 70 percent of these rescue operations have failed. The gruesome, slow, suffocating death of these children moved Shreenabh to no ends. His empathetic nature quickly responded with action, and he came up with an invention called the “Triple Lock Bore Hole Protection Lid”. This published invention will drastically help prevent such tragedies in the future.
Shreenabh went one-up with his humanitarian mission when he noticed the plight of elderly citizens who were feeling ignored and shunned by society. The difficulties they faced when they tried to function as naturally productive individuals, who can still play an important part in society, inspired him to come up with a social project called Oldy-Goldy clubs. To make this project successful, Shreenabh visited 16 libraries and convinced them to allow their facilities to be used for a weekly life skills session. He then approached the elderly and retired individuals in his hometown and requested them to use their wealth of experience and knowledge to conduct weekly sessions for children.
Much to Shreenabh's delight, his initiative saw a massive favourable response from both young and old. The elderly citizens were injected with a new lease of life while the children were the beneficiary of their knowledge and skills. It was a win-win situation for all concerned. Shreenabh hopes to take the concept of Oldy-Goldy clubs throughout the world.
Perhaps his biggest achievements that have benefitted thousands of farmers in Maharastra and Madhya Pradesh is in the field of agriculture. Shreenabh's work for the benefit of farmers not only won him the Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2021, it also drew rave appreciations from the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi who tweeted: "Shreenabh Moujesh Agrawal’s work seeks to bring a positive difference in the lives of our hardworking farmers. I admire his tenacity and thoughtfulness, that he is thinking about such subjects from a young age. Congrats to him on winning the Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2021."
His humanitarian efforts have been recognized by none other than the Royals – A prestigious Diana award 2021 bestowned upon the young genius. The award in the memory of Princess of Wales has the support of both the Dukes of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex. Its such a proud moment for his parents and the nation too.
Shreenabh Moujesh Agrawal’s work seeks to bring a positive difference in the lives of our hardworking farmers. I admire his tenacity and thoughtfulness, that he is thinking about such subjects from a young age. Congrats to him on winning the Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2021. pic.twitter.com/D2Ry3i66xP— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 25, 2021
India is primarily an agrarian economy and farmers in India are the most in need of scientific innovations. Drought is the biggest obstacle that plagues our farmers and Shreenabh came up with a solution to address this problem. His innovation “Neer Setu Farming” helps reduce the consumption of water manifolds and increases the productivity of crops. This innovation received accolades from both farmers and scientists of CSIR-NEERI.
Shreenabh stepped up his game with his second innovation which curbs the scourge of yellow mosaic virus disease in crops. This disease is responsible for about 50 – 94 percent losses of crops annually. His innovative method addresses this problem by inhibiting the spread of the virus which in turn improves the yield. Farmers and Gram Panchayats who have benefited from his innovations have been very appreciative of his efforts. This innovation, along with others, helped him bag the prestigious
Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2021 which led to the Minister of Textiles Ms. Smriti Z Irani tweeting:
"Shreenabh Moujesh Agrawal is a 16-year-old innovator from Nagpur in Maharashtra. Among several of his innovations, low cost & eco-friendly Tridax procumbens extract helps farmers deal with the deadly Yellow Mosaic virus in Okra."
These 3 instances are just a few examples among scores of his achievements.
Shreenabh Moujesh Agrawal is a 16-year-old innovator from Nagpur in Maharashtra. Among several of his innovations, low cost & eco-friendly Tridax procumbens extract helps farmers deal with the deadly Yellow Mosaic virus in Okra. #BalSamvadWithPM pic.twitter.com/BtjXoo6Xzc— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) January 25, 2021
Shreenabh's list of achievements is mind-boggling, its even more baffling when you realise that he's garnered all these achievements and honours at such a young age. Most people would go through a lifetime and not achieve a fraction of his accomplishments. Just to imagine that a teenager has authored 180 articles, two books and five research papers is staggering. And to top that his innovation “Triple Lock Bore Hole Protection Lid” got published in the Patent Journal. For More Information Click on Below Icons
Here's a condensed list of his astonishing achievements in the last 5 years: First prize winner of an international essay competition organised by the government of Japan in collaboration with several multilateral institutions in 2018; won the Pendle War Poetry Competition, London — Under-18 Overseas category, 2018; Google Scholar for scholastic publications; winner of the title of Himalayan-2016 — a scientific talent search examination held by Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan (VVM) at IIT Delhi; Shreenabh is the first international freelance youth reporter for Radio Chico Switzerland; received a Letter of Commendation for his performance in the Case Solving Challenge from the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute; received a Letter of Commendation for being the youngest participant in the MBL Monsoon Laddership Circle 2019 organised by Service Space organisation, California; Shreenabh was also selected to be a part of Team India(2020) for the annual International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) that is held in California.
This list is barely scratching the surface because it is just a condensed list of his achievements in the last 5 years.
What does the future hold?
The challenge for most child prodigies is to not get overwhelmed by the immense adulation and expectations of the people around them. And more importantly not to get overawed by their own massive innate potential and succumb to the pressure.
Fortunately, Shreenabh has a great support system in the form of his parents and family who keep him grounded. His parents have made it very simple and straight forward for him — they want him to grow up to be a well-adjusted person capable of living a fulfilling life. Their belief has always been that he is a normal boy with a high capacity of learning, so they have not set any unreasonably high bar for him to achieve. They have always stood by him and provided him all the tools and aid he may require to achieve his own-goals in life.
With such an abundance of intelligence and talents at his possession, the sky is the limit for Shreenabh. And with his parents firmly backing his every move, the rest of the world can only watch in awe as he soars high to reach dizzying heights while unleashing the full array of his talents.
Achievements in the last 5 years:
- 2020 KVPY Fellowship SA Stream – Department of Science and Technology DST Government of India
- 2020 Asia Book of Records: ‘Maximum articles written by an adolescent to spread awareness about topics related to Agriculture, Nuclear Security, etc
- 2020 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair ISEF-Finalist California
- 2020 Google Code-in 2019 certificate awarded for contributing to open-source software, Google
- 2019 All India Rank 3 ICSE Board Exam (99.2% )
- 2019 Appointed as International Youth Correspondent from India – Radio Chico Switzerland
- 2019 Invited as Indian Ambassador for fifth World Peace Week - Radio Chico Switzerland
- 2019 Awarded Honorary membership –International Science Writer’s Association ISWA
- 2019 Mention in Google Scholar – a database for research work Google
- 2019 Winner NASA Scientist for a Day (2018-2019) Essay Contest USA
- 2019 Letter of Commendation- IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute Sweden
- 2019 A Grade Citation & Gold Medal- National Children Science Congress, DST 2019 Grand Award –IRIS National Fair, DST Government of India]
- 2019 Mayor Innovation Award- Nagpur Municipal Corporation
- 2019 Research Paper ‘Impact of Visual Aid in creating awareness about Sustainable Tourism in School students’ published - Journal of Indian Education, NCERT
- 2019 Research Paper ‘Software Pseudo-Random Number Generators to Hardware True Random Number Generators: a transition in Data-Security’ published - International Journal of Scientific Research in Computer Science Engineering and Information Technology
- 2019 First Prize International Essay Competition for Young People- Goi Peace Foundation and Ministry of education, Japan
- 2019 Awarded Commendable Presentation for Paper ‘Viyog’- Grey Water Segregation for Conservation: a green method using Typha Elephantina- National Seminar on“Challenges in Groundwater and Surface Water Resources in India’ - Gondwana Geological Society.
- 2019 Youngest Presenter in International NASMEI Conference –IIM Indore
- 2019 Publication “Mahila e Haat’ –Emerald Publishing India
- 2019 First Prize National Essay Contest –Spaceport India Foundation
- 2019 Won Honourable mention - All India Essay Writing Event UN Information Centre for India and Bhutan
- 2019 Awarded Certificate of Merit for outstanding performance in ‘SEK Elite Scholarship Camp’ - IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden
- 2019 Certificate of Honour awarded in All India 7th Korea India Friendship Essay Competition - Korean Cultural Centre India, Embassy of Republic of Korea
- 2019 Awarded title ‘Brain of Vidarbha’ – Times of India
- 2019 Gulabchand Student of the Year- The CDS School Nagpur
- 2018 Scientific Article ‘The world beyond Electrons, Protons and Neutrons’ published - Science Reporter
- 2018 First Prize- Pendle War Poetry Competition- National Poetry Library UK
- 2018 Book ‘A young explorer’s journey of Science’ published- Pothi.com
- 2018 Bal Vaigyanik- Junior Scientist, Greater Bombay Science Teachers Association Mumbai
- 2018 NEER SETU- Innovative Farming Project published on My Gov Innovate India Government of India
- 2018 Research Paper ‘Curriculum-based School picnics: a tool for enhancing Scientific Temper’ published - Journal of Scientific Temper (JST) CSIR-NISCAIR
- 2018 Research Paper ‘Empirical assessment of efficiency of entropy source for random number generators using autocorrelation function test’ published - World Scientific News (WSN)
- 2017 Research Paper ‘Voice disorder in school teachers: an occupational hazard’ published - The Botanique-UGC Approved Journal
- 2017 Appreciation CSIR NEERI for NEER SETU- Innovative Farming Project
- 2016 ‘Triple Lock Bore Hole Protection lid’ published in the Official Journal of the Patent Office, Indian Patent Office
- 2016 ‘Awarded Title ‘Himalayan’ at IIT Delhi in National Vidyarthi Vigyaan Manthan Exam- Vibha
- 2015 ‘India Book of Records’ as the Youngest to write a storybook on PM’s schemes
- 2015 First Book ‘Thank You Modiji’ published- Pothi.com
- 2015 Appreciation letter received from Honourable Prime Minister of India for the first book
- 2015-2020 Published 180 Articles in Print and electronic media
2021 Receives the prestigious Diana Award.
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