Published: 03rd April 2019
This +2 student's app could help every underprivileged kid get a great job. Here's how
Most twelfth graders have the boards on their brains. Not Tanya Elizabeth Ken. This girl behind the app LakshyaShala tells us why her app could be a game-changer for underprivileged children of today
Have you ever experienced that joy that floods you when your dreams come true? It can be something as small as winning an elocution competition at school or one selfie with your favourite footballer...the list just goes on. But what if I told you that there is an app that can help you actualise your dreams? You read that right! And don't get me wrong, when I say dreams I don't mean all of the above instances. Dreams, in terms of your professional career, in the future. Before I explain how, let me introduce you to the mastermind behind the app LakshyaShala — Tanya Elizabeth Ken, a 16-year-old student of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Senior Secondary School.
The whole point of education is to set the pathway to a career. But that was just something I never saw in our education system here.
Tanya Elizabeth, LakshyaShala (Pic: Tanya)
How does the app work? Every student needs on-the-ground professionals to tell them whether they can cut it or not in a particular career. LakshyaShala makes that connection simple. Students who need guidance, irrespective of where they're from can register on the app and be connected to people from several professions — doctors, engineers, IT professionals and so on. They can then ask questions, almost like chatting on WhatsApp, and the experts will step right up and answer them, "Very rarely are there cases wherein we reach out to professionals via LinkedIn and ask them to mentor students. The app is sort of a communicative tool and the mentors and students can communicate back and forth. Sometimes this app even allows peer-to-peer communication in order to benefit students," she says. There's even a skill development module if the students want to take things up a notch.
For them: This app helps students get mentorship from professionals (Pic: Tanya)
The journey of LakshyaShala began when Tanya, in grade IX, questioned the whole purpose of education. "The whole point of education is is to set the pathway to a career. But that was just something I never saw in our education system here. It was something I struggled with," she says. Tanya, being the tech-savvy person that she is, was keen on a career in cybersecurity. But when she found that the education system did not connect the dots to help her reach her lakshya (goal), she decided to do it herself! "My parents had to network to find which were the appropriate skills and path that I had to take before grade 12. If this was what it took for someone like me I couldn't imagine the condition of students in rural areas. I constantly asked 'If this is the plight of students in top schools, what about students from the underserved communities?' That is when I started working on LakshyaShala, which will eventually lead them to have a career of their choice," she explains.
Since it is an open integration model, a lot of NGOs use the app to connect kids in underprivileged and disadvantaged situations with professionals who can help them chart a course to a better future. "This app is made available to every student, regardless of their educational backgrounds. It is not subject to only urban schools alone. The app is supposed to reach students from various rural backgrounds," concludes the 16-year-old entrepreneur, who just finished her XII board exams.