Gitanjali Rao, a 15-year-old Indian-American scientist and inventor has been named Time Magazine’s first-ever Kid of the Year.
The US-based publication announced the award on Thursday and selected Rao from a field of more than 5,000 nominees. It cited her ability to use technology to tackle “issues ranging from contaminated drinking water to opioid addiction and cyberbullying”. As well as her mission to create a “global community of young innovators to solve problems the world over.”
“Observe, brainstorm, research, build and communicate,” Rao told actor and activist Angelina Jolie about her work process in a Zoom interview from her home in Colorado. In a tweet, the official handle of the publication shared the magazine cover along with a caption that read, “Introducing the first-ever Kid of the Year, Gitanjali Rao.”
— TIME (@TIME) December 3, 2020
Since the release of the cover, many took to social media to congratulate the 15-year-old. However, this is not the first time Rao has earned plaudits for her work. Earlier in 2019, she was on the Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.
Congratulations from one “older” scientist 😀 Discovering is the most exciting part of being a scientists, keep up the great work! 🙋🙆😆
— Handknits T (@HandknitsT) December 3, 2020
So so inspiring
— nomvuyo (@nbmashile) December 3, 2020
Love the female Indian representation 🙌🏾👏🏾👏🏾 finally!
— Timbrel Chyatee 🇮🇳 (@Chyateezzy) December 3, 2020
Thanks for putting out something so positive. And congrats to all these amazing kids!
— JG (@BenevolentRuler) December 3, 2020
Congratulations Gitanjali Rao Great Woman 👍💪🎓
— Giancarlo Luzzini (@GiancarloLuzzi1) December 3, 2020
The future is in their hands.
— Patricia Evert (@PatriciaEvert) December 3, 2020
Congratulations Gitanjali 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 I’m especially impressed with your Cyberbullying App, Kindly and your climate change initiatives. You’re an inspiration to young people the world over.
— Zodwa Pakade™ (@zeeshongwe) December 3, 2020
Last year, teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg was named the youngest person to ever receive the honour.