Aim high and Fly high. Let this world one day look up and say that YOU MADE IT! – Aysath Rukshana
Aysath Rukshana is a 17-year-old Health Activist from Tamilnandu. She is extremely enthusiastic about public speaking and always gives her fullest when she is involved in something. Aysath is a world record holder (an 1144-hour show in which she was one of 9000 participants) and coin collector who holds both a national and a world record for writing 100 smallest countries’ names with multinational both ancient and current coins, which has yet to be certified.
Recently, she is working at Shoonya, a non-profit NGO where she advocates for mental health. She works in the media and communication department of the shoonya. She works to improve the lives of India’s youth. Aysath is currently hosting live events in which influencers share their perspectives on mental health, which has had a significant positive impact on society. Through her Instagram page, “The Shoonya Project”; She has been posting so many things regarding mental health issues and the solutions to it.
Aysath has made a significant difference in the lives of the youth. She also gives motivational speeches, runs awareness campaigns, and speaks about current issues such as 8-roads in Tamilnadu, gender equality, the importance of agriculture and farmers in order to educate the Indian citizens.
Today through her work, Aysath is inspiring thousands of young people to be the change that they wish to see. Her work and initiative has reached thousands of people. She has been awarded as “The stellar performer” in GSLC’21 (Global Students leadership conclave’21) where she moderated panel-3 (which is for undergraduate students all across the world). She was given an opportunity to be a moderator for panel-3, “The undergraduate students’ ‘ for the next year’s conclave GSLC’22. Besides this, Aysath has won many awards which include Veera Pandya Kattabomman, APJ ABDUL KALAM’s THE LEADER AWARD, Best performer award, The Stellar Performer, etc.
Aysath is one of the Finalists of Glocal Teen Hero India 2021. We had a few conversations with her regarding her projects. The major highlights of the interview are given below;
How was your experience when you were announced as the Top 6 Finalist of Wai Wai Glocal Teen Hero India, 2021?
For a moment I was speechless because this was something I never expected coming my way. I thanked Allah for this special stuff because I know how much hard work I have put in and how many days I have been sleepless. Soon after I realized that this dream did come true, then another miracle happened, that was a call from THE DIRECTOR OF THE GLOCAL TEAM, I was left in awe. I still can’t digest the fact tbh.
What inspired you to work in the sector of mental health?
Actually, I had depression before entering this field and I know how I tackled it and I also know how hard it hits. So then right after my comeback, I saw many students committing suicide just because they failed in so and so exams. That’s not okay and I know how the mentality of a student would be that he/she has been pushed to an extent that they no longer wanna live. So I thought why can’t I make a change? Just because I came out of it doesn’t mean that the whole world doesn’t experience the same. I wanted to normalise having anxiety, being depressed/stressed. I wanted it to be changed and that’s why I became the change. This indeed helped me to cope up with the loss of my beloved grandmother, who was not only my inspiration but my backbone at all times. Having this project in hand made me realise that it’s common that people have anxiety after losing someone they love and helped me get merely somehow out of it. It also made me work even further as I considered this as a tool to spread the goodness that the world needs and never make any human feel that they are in this struggle all alone.
You are a motivational speaker, what kind of messages do you convey towards society in order to educate the people?
Pretty much all of my speeches are related to the social well-being of every individual. To educate people i have spoken about how far mental health is important (in detail about ways to handle their stress/anxiety and also have ensured that it’s completely alright to feel low but to boom back from that is very important), About the border issues, the climate change control and ways to reduce climate change, How good leadership could be and how we can act on that, how government and us as students can help to upbring India into a better country, How we can contribute towards the development of this entire world, About futuristic technologies like smart eye technology, blue eyes technology, How funding students for their education can help, Importance of spending money to save others who are suffering, Important acts that women should definitely know like POCSO, How women empowerment is important and how we can support small businesses by buying things from them even though they are expensive, How hard trans-people deserve our respect and about their achievements, About the leaders of India who have to be addressed specifically for their sacrifices.
Also, I have addressed some important protests like the Jallikattu protest, Tuticorin gunshots and how young minds lost their lives just to make us breathe pure for the upcoming years, farmers protest, and so on.
In what areas does the “Shoonya Project” work?
The Shoonya Project mainly focuses on the mental-health of every individual. So basically what we do there is to guide those who come to us having several issues and even given therapies if they are in that certain stage. We make posts, reels, lives, pools in Instagram that actually made a change as I have read many comments saying that they really needed this, they really wanted to hear something like this as they felt that they are the only ones who feel like this. So as of now, we have made posts on Transgenders and how they deserve validity and respect, How normal is having a mental illness, ways to effectively come out of it and organisation that could help in that, About self-care, Toxic productivity, Toxic lethargy, Evaluative anxiety and how to reduce it, Toxic family relationships, School stress, Empathy, Becoming a good friend, ways to be an effective caregiver, Mental health first aid – a support system during a mental health crisis, Self-image, Introversion extroversion, Ways to not be trapped in expectations and so on.
As for lives we have done on several topics with influencers all across the world, we have done live with Adam nguyen on psychology and self-love journey with Simran Choudary on mental health and professionalism, with Khushi mohunta on School and mental health, with Maggie Zea on Introversion and mental health, With Khanishka Baid on Anxiety and mental health, With Tarun Ludhwani on Sports and mental health, With Dweebs global on Mentorship and mental health, With Ankita Chawla on Content creation and mental health, With Chef. Aarthi Sampath on Mental health and the Food industry, With Bobby and Komal Hirani on Spirituality and mental health, With Monika Guwalani and Sanskriti Ramtek on Travelling and mental health.
We have done reels and polls just to encourage and motivate people that they aren’t alone in this and this is so so normal.
What are your future plans that you are planning to execute in upcoming days?
*In the upcoming days I am looking forward to launching a website for a funding organisation (v_team) in which I am the director. As of now, we only receive donations from people across my town so I am planning to execute this website so that we could reach a global audience as the cause that we are working for needs more attention. Currently, we have helped and are still helping 40+ students by paying their educational fee and also by allocating them free hostels to reside if in case they need any (this consist of both school and Engineering as well as arts university students), we have been funding orphanages and orphans in and out of Tamilnadu and also providing foods especially for those in camps.
*We have already launched a website that can be used in Computer class which contains a built-in code editor that supports common languages such as Java, C and Python. This web application is an in-class learning tool used by students and TAs during lectures. While the professor is lecturing, students can ask questions on a class-wide chat box to which TAs can answer. So currently I am looking for these futuristic improvements in the web
- Add syntax highlighting to the code editor
- Add a PDF viewer to allow students to view class slides
- Notification for users entering and exiting the chat, and proper disconnecting of websockets once users have exited
*I am looking forward to taking this shoonya project to a whole new level by opening a centre and offering counselling all across India at first.
*In the upcoming months, we will be certifying the v_team as a NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION. I really want to work for the well-being of cancer patients.
*I wanna open up a center where they could come over for free medicals, guidance and much more.
*I want to conduct a free workshop where I can teach children about public speaking and its impact on society without any charges.
What message would you like to deliver to teenagers?
All I want the younger generation to know is that a change that they want to see in this world won’t happen overnight. Every progress will definitely take time. It will require their patience, their stability, their flexibility, their time, their efforts, their money, their sleep and of course THEY THEMSELVES! No matter what, be determined in your goals, persist and persevere, have the strong feeling to achieve anything and everything, Be bold, Think that you deserve the world, don’t restrict yourself within a boundary. Let the sky be your border and the stars be your starting point.
Aim high and Fly high. Let this world one day look up and say that YOU MADE IT!! And of course, Choose what you love and you’d never regret that ever.
Glocal Teen Hero is a platform for teenagers to identify and honor outstanding teenagers whose creativity, commitment, experience, and strong leadership have helped them achieve success in an increasingly challenging environment. This award recognizes and honors the exceptional teen whose work is sustainable and who can think out of the box addressing the issues and creating an impact in society. Fostering a collaborative community among recipients and strengthening the recognition of today’s young leaders is a primary goal of the Glocal Teen Hero Award.