The satisfaction that is brought by achieving life goals is unparalleled. An 11-year-old Indian-origin Czaana Saxena is familiar with that feeling after receiving many accolades and most recently the prestigious gold finalist award in the Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition 2020. Out of 13,000 students from 58 countries, Czaana managed to secure the gold finalist award, giving her the much-needed boost to her motivation at such a young age.
Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world's oldest and largest schools' international writing competition, which is run by the Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. Past winners include the Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Lee Hsien Loong and author and journalist Elspeth Huxley. The young student from Temasek Primary School is now among the few who can say with pride that they won the prestigious award in the globally-renowned writing contest.
Czaana Saxena and her passion for writing
Czaana Saxena developed interest in writing at an early age and is taking the path to fulfilling her passion. At the age of just 8, her story on Suppandi, her favourite character, was published in India's best-selling kids magazine Tinkle.
"I am hugely inspired by Dorothy Vaughan and Jansi-ki-Rani who were both very progressive and challenged many norms." Saxena said. "I'm blessed to have great teachers and mentors. My mother has always kept us excited about stories from India and the world, and my father is involved and encouraging me to write and debate more often. My brother is quite a funny and annoying character, the stereotype you find in books, but I know he is elated when I do well."
But it was her essay, titled "Intimations of Immortality" that won her the Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition award that moved its readers. Taking inspiration from the real-world, Czaana offered realistic solution to the worsening climate crisis. "I wanted to ensure that we don't just talk about the issue but actually do something about it. Real change comes from discussing solutions, not problems." she said.
Her young age did not stop her from achieving her dreams. In fact, she was even listed in 25 young creators across Singapore, which allowed her to present her innovation to Singapore's Minister for Communications and Information, Mr. S. Iswaran, who was thoroughly impressed. "The story was very creative & conveys an important message of inclusion – physical book & digital book," the minister said, referring to the QR-coded innovation of 'Eureka: Respecting Diversity' a multi-format book the team created.
On being asked what the most power powerful words are, the young girl joyfully replied, "'You're good!' is really powerful. To both receive it and offer it can be hugely motivating."