Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Young socio economic sensation Khanak Hajela's endeavour for a delightfully and a Better India

Khanak Hajela is one of the youngest socio-economic activists, who wants to change the world, the way it thinks

Published: Dec 10, 2020 04:58:48 PM IST
Updated: Dec 11, 2020 05:15:57 PM IST

Young socio economic sensation Khanak Hajela's endeavour for a delightfully and a Better India
It is not fortune and riches that one requires to lend help and pursue charity, but it is rather thoughtfulness and compassion towards fellow human beings that makes one person reach out to others. A thirteen-year-young girl from Indore, M.P. is one of the best examples of the 21st century to help humanity understand the same. Khanak Hajela, a 8th grade student from The Delhi Public School Indore, is creating ripples with her thought process and efforts to make this world a beautiful place to live in. This young girl has broken all the stereotypes and thinking of how people should consider charity and humankind once they are well-settled & mature enough to understand the needs & that is  not  enough for her, as she  is also presenting a self-sustained model for the implementation of her plans thru the substantiation of her  innovative & unique social channel “GupShup with Khanak” – A YouTube channel on financial literacy taking India’s giant financial inclusion program  to the grass root level.

Khanak Hajela is one of the youngest socio-economic activists, who wants to change the world, the way it thinks. What makes her approach unique and different from most of the NGOs and social workers out there is her mission to “delight” as she thinks that “In being Happy” and “In being  Delighted” has an intrinsic difference in it. Happy humans can perform and can give the best but a delighted person can add a Tint ( or Tadka) of freshness and creativity to the same activity and can do the  things with a difference. The  fact that many of the NGOs and social groups helps the underprivileged section of the society by providing things that are just needed or are in surplus or not in use & old, but Khanak who is participating in such events since her childhood always has a pink balloon question - They are getting the  things what is been  provided …. But are they Happy and delighted ….. do they have a right to choose ?- “ Mera wala pink”

She feels “Yes”  they have a right to choose, they should get the things of their own choice. She believes that it is their right “to be delighted” as in absence of delightfulness, The creativity, passion and art in them  may  be suppressed at a very nascent stage.

Inception – Story behind the Initiative

It all started a few years back when young Khanak was at a donation drive, where toys and bags were being distributed at a local orphanage. She saw the expressions of a little girl in the queue, who wanted a pink bag and knew they would end by the time it is her turn to receive. The fact that she will receive a yellow bag surely made her happy, but receiving the desired pink bag would have made her delighted instead. This made Khanak wonder about the difference between the state of being happy and delighted, and how being delighted would change the world into a beautiful place. Understanding it, Khanak decided to spread delightfulness, not merely happiness in the world.

This incident changed her life and thought process, where she believes that everybody has a right to choose, and receiving things of choice will make underprivileged people delighted.

Flutters of the Tiny Wings

“When I started towards my destination, I was all alone in my efforts,
but as I made progress, others came forward and joined me and we became a force to reckon with.” – Majrooh Sultanpuri 

Starting in the year 2018, Khanak began the journey of her vision and soon enough her noble efforts started getting noticed by many. She conceived and implemented her idea through an annual fundraising event “Prayas… Ek Nanhi Pehal”.

Watching her dedication to serve the masses and bring a positive change to society, her Dance Guru  and winner of India’s Got Talent season 5, Guru Maa Dr. Ragini Makkhar ji , joined the noble cause to support “Prayas…. Ek Nanhi Pehal“ through her dance school – Naadyog. Moving ahead, Khanak’s school ….The Delhi Public School, Indore came in to join and support the campaign for helping the underprivileged. Principal Sir Mr. Ajay K. Sharma ji always motivated Khanak through his special mentions about her drive on various Public & private Platforms .To support the drive, Her family and friends formed an NGO “Anandam.. Team to Delight”.

In 2019 this tiny step helped few of less fortunate Children with 200Kgs of branded milk powder -Cerolac, Tuition fees for few, 400 study material kits, medical equipments like Nebulisers, Sterilisers etc  for old aged, medicines, clothes, daily use items of their choice.

Today, The NGO Anandam is supported by many organizations including NICT Technologies and Rusan Pharma Ltd., enabling it to function freely and to help the less fortunate to the maximum extent and shift them towards the  top  of  the pyramid.

When the fluttering of her tiny wings are just set for a zooming flight, it got hit by the pestilence of Covid 19 , where the world got locked up, She refuse to bow down and says that  it is  a lock down Not a shutdown and moved on with her efforts thru a new innovation - GupShup with Khanak- A  weekly you tube Series with 2-3 minutes episodes covering the most uncommon information of Common things. 

Looking at the significance of Inclusive Society, This 13 years young girl, while working with abandoned children synergised her efforts towards inclusive growth realizing the  pain  of non-inclusiveness of the society at such a young age realizing the pain of non-inclusiveness & being deprived.

In the time when  the world stopped, she Stood up and used the Social media as a tool to play her role through financial literacy program as a part of  India’s world  largest  financial  inclusion program- Jan Dhan Yojana,  in about 32 non-stop episodes covering various topics, ranging from Currencies and Money, Origin of Banking and Banking  operations, Online payment  methods like NEFT, RTGS, IMPS, UPI, Understanding of swadeshi. Her dared effort  also made her channel as a prospective candidate for world record as the youngest person to release a non-stop financial literacy series at this young age.

Story till the date

It is an interesting take that a young girl has helped the world to understand that donation is not about dumping unwanted things or buying items in bulk to distribute. It is about understanding that they also have a choice and when that choice is fulfilled, the delighted mind can help them grow better and make a stronger society.

Khanak has been instrumental during the pandemic by arranging and distributing ration, medical kits and PPE kits throughout the lockdown to people and health workers. Her annual fundraising event – Prayas, planned in June this year got cancelled due to the corona outbreak, but she is determined to her cause and created a parallel online platform and also plans it on an even bigger scale in the next year.

Currently, she is working towards arranging 20,000 Litres of milk powder for infants and kids under 6 in orphanages, so that they do not have to deal with hunger. Further, she is collecting study material for kids, in order to provide quality education and build a stronger future. For medical necessities, she is arranging first aid kits and medicines for kids as well.

What’s Next?

Looking ahead, Khanak aims at creating a system where all the orphanages and old age homes of Indore and then nationwide have sufficient support, so that the residents have the freedom to choose and are not dependent on unwanted donations anymore. To achieve it, Anandam is working towards the creation of special vouchers that can be donated and redeemed by the people to get the things of their choice at no cost at all. Khanak is actively working to create tie-ups with major stores in the city and online for accepting the vouchers.

It is a sign of relief and treats the eye to see such a young blood working towards the betterment of society and creating a better and informed Society. Khanak being one of the trailblazers in the field, India surely has a brighter tomorrow with satisfied people and delighted souls.

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