(Adapted from GOPIO-International News)
After a rigorous process, two exceptionally gifted Indian American children and one Indo-Canadian kid were handpicked from 15,000-plus nominees across 45 countries for the 2020 Global Child Prodigy Award.
Tiara Abraham of Sacramento, Calif.; Akash Vukoti of San Angelo, Texas; and Advait Kolarkar of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, were honored alongside 97 other talented kids on Jan. 3 at a gala event in New Delhi, which was attended by several senior parliamentarians, music stalwarts and luminaries from the political and economic world.
Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi was the chief guest at the event where Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi handed out the awards to 100 child prodigies from 18 countries.
The Global Child Prodigy Awards event is a platform to celebrate a child’s talent and power in different categories such as dancing, music, arts, writing, acting, modeling, science, innovation, sports, etc.
Only three percent of the child prodigies can take their talent to the next level and become successful in their domain, so Global Child Prodigy Awards strives to recognize those talents, support them and provide them the global exposure to help them excel in their respective fields.
Soprano prodigy Tiara Abraham, 13, was honored in the ‘singing’ category. Having won numerous national and international solo singing competitions, Abraham, who was recently also honored by the Vatican, released her debut CD when she was 10. The album has nine songs in six different languages.
In April 2019, she wowed a crowd of more than 25,000 when she sang the national anthem at a San Francisco Giants game. The young singer, who has been a college student since she was seven years old, and has completed 42 college semesters in foreign languages, music and dance, had earlier told India-West that when she was six, she started to sing “simple songs” like “Happy Birthday” or the American national anthem in a vibrato style.
Spelling prodigy Akash Vukoti was felicitated for his prowess in the ‘languages’ categories. In 2016, then six, Vukoti became the youngest competitor in the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition. He competed in the 2018 and 2019 editions of the competition as well.
According to his website, he can read and write three languages – English, Hindi and Telugu. He started reading and writing at a very early age and competed in his first spelling bee when he was just 2 years old. He became a member of Mensa at three and a Davidson Young Scholar at the age of 5 years.
In 2018, the ‘spellebrity’ became the youngest celebrity competitor on “Dancing with the Stars: Junior.” Vukoti has been featured on several shows such as “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Steve Harvey Show” and “Fox and Friends.” He has also appeared in many documentaries, including “Breaking the Bee.”
In the ‘arts’ category, five-year-old artistic prodigy Kolarkar, said a press release, has left the world stunned with his art. His abstract paintings have been displayed at exhibitions in Canada, the U.S. and India. In 2018, he became the youngest artist to exhibit at the ArtExpo fair in New York.
His fascination with art, according to his website, began when he was merely three months old. “He would keenly gaze at black objects—wardrobes and curtains — an observation that soon turned into demand,” his website says. Consequently, he took a fascination to art and would spend hours with his sister as she drew on paper.
Originally from Pune, Maharashtra, he now lives in Canada with his parents, software engineer Amit Kolarkar and commercial artist Shruti Kolarkar, and his elder sister Swara. Kolarkar, who began painting when he was eight, said the awards press release, has the talent that “far surpasses the professionals in his domain.
The awardees, who will get to meet eminent leaders, will also be part of other significant international events as speakers or influencers. The “100 Global Child Prodigies Award 2020” book, featuring its awardees, will be distributed to all the “top libraries” of the world. The award is supported by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam International Foundation, and Oscar-winning music director A.R. Rahman, among others.