There are a fair number of precocious children or prodigies in the world who can spell the most difficult words, easily find an answer to complex math calculations or solve Rubik's cube without much hassle.
A new addition to this list of prodigies is a nine-year-old boy SK Akatheesh from Erode, Tamil Nadu who can not only name but also identify more than 190 countries on the world map along with their flags.
AK Akatheesh, a student of Bharathi Vidya Bhavan, has received a certificate of appreciation from the India Book of Records for his excellent knowledge of geography.
When Akatheesh was mere seven-year-old, he started showing interest in knowing the names of places and the determination on the young blood calls for praises and lauds as in just two years, he managed to memorise every part of the world map.
"During a conversation with one of his friends, he came across a place called Mettur (in Salem).
The name of the place fascinated him and he was curious to know where it is located and how far it is from Erode,” The New Indian Express quoted Akatheesh’s mother T Savithri, as saying.
Akatheesh asked him mother to buy him a Tamil Nadu map as he wanted to locate Mettur on it. He soon began to identify and memorize the names of other places and districts in Tamil Nadu. His passion took him forward and he started to learn about different states in India and their capital and gradually moved on to countries and their capitals. Now, Akstheesh's knowledge of geography of the world is so extensive, that he can easily identify even the small islands on the world map.
"Seeing him every day investing considerable time in locating countries on the globe, I identified his interest in geography. I got him maps, atlases and other books. He learned everything by himself," the daily quoted T Savithri saying.
His father, S Satheesh Kumar told The New Indian Express, "Every child is talented and unique. As parents, it is our responsibility to tap their potential and let them explore different horizons. Children's interests and passions should be acknowledged rather than pushing them to settle for the ordinary.”
Most parents nowadays complaint that mobile and smartphones as well as other technology have ruined their children's lives but Akatheesh's mother, on the other hand, feels that it was all because of the effective use of technology that her son could explore his passion. She added, "My son is an example of how mobile phones can also be beneficial. It was with the help of Google Maps that his understanding of geography developed."
When Akatheesh was asked about what drives him to learn different places, he says, "I like locating places on maps. I want to find the most beautiful places, rivers and oceans on the planet. That makes me happy."