Indian-American Gitanjali, A 15 Year Old Inventor Named For First Ever Time Magazine’s ‘Kid Of The Year’

by Shatakshi Gupta

Indian-origin 15-year-old American teenager Gitanjali Rao has been named as the first ‘Kid of the Year’ by TIME Magazine for her brilliant work.  She is a brilliant young scientist and inventor.  Gitanjali has done a great job in dealing with issues ranging from contaminated drinking water to opium addiction and cyber bullying using technology.  Time said, “This world belongs to those who shape it.” 

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 Gitanjali was selected from over 5,000 contenders for Time’s maiden ‘Kid of the Year’. Actress and social activist Angelina Jolie interviewed her for Time Special.  Gitanjali said about her processes during a digital interaction with Jolie from her home in Colorado, saying, “Observe, think, research, create and tell”.  According to Time, the teenager said, “Do not try to solve every problem, but focus on the one that inspires you. If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

Talked about various problems           

 Gitanjali said that her generation is facing many problems which had never come before. The teenager said, “But at the same time, we are also facing old problems that still exist.  Like we are facing a new global pandemic here and we are still facing the issue of human rights. There are problems that we have not created, but now we have to solve them through technology, such as climate change and cyber bullying.

 The teenager said that since she was in second or third grade, she started thinking about how she could use science and technology to bring about social change. Gitanjali said that when she was 10 years old  She told her parents that she wanted to do research on carbon nano tube sensor technology at the Denver Water Quality Research Lab.

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Her inventions

When she was in seventh grade, people in flint were facing a serious problem of lead contamination in drinking water. Gitanjali created a device, called Tethys, which uses carbon nanotubes to detect lead compounds quickly in water and sends in the values of the water status , on a scale of ‘safe’, ‘slightly contaminated’, or ‘critical’ — to a smartphone app.

She later developed Kindly, an app and a Chrome extension that can detect cyberbullying at primary stages. This works on AI based technology.

Her another invention works with human genetics, which can detect the increasing problem of addiction of prescribed drugs.