BYJU’s Young Genius season 2, a News18 initiative, has started with a bang. In the first episode of the series aimed at honouring the young geniuses from across the country, viewers met two teenagers from Jammu and Kashmir: Tajamul Islam, a 14-year-old kickboxing champion who fought odds to become world champion, and Harmanjot Singh another 14-year-old who created multiple apps aimed at helping society.
Tajamul Islam: World champion & Coach
The 14-year-old from Tarkpora, Kashmir started to express his love for kickboxing as young as four years old. She, however, had to fight many societal pressures to begin her journey in a sport which is considered to be a male bastion.
Despite her father’s resistance, she started kickboxing when she was just 5 years old. After her win in her debut tournament, her father became her biggest support. Her father who was once against his daughter playing kickboxing on the show said, “I am known as the father of my daughter. I have two sons but sometimes I wonder how nice it would have been had they been daughters too.”
Tajalmul won gold at her debut tournament in the sub-junior category kickboxing event organized in Jammu in the year 2015 and has never looked back ever since. She has won the World Kickboxing Championship in Andria, Italy in 2016, won Gold at the National Kickboxing Championship held in Delhi in 2015 in the (U-13 category).
She went on to become a champion in her chosen sport. However, after her 2016 achievement, she did not have the finances to travel for international competitions. So, she started teaching kickboxing to children.
At the young age of 12, she set up her own sports academy in Kashmir where she trained over 800 students. Currently, the academy has six branches in and around Tarkpora. This was also her way of collecting the necessary resources she needed to compete at an international level.
A 14-year-old from Jammu, Harmanjot Singh has created three award-winning apps. One of his app for women’s safety called Raksha has won him PM Bal Puraskar – the highest honour for an Indian citizen below 18 years of age. His app helps women connect with the nearest police station, emergency numbers and friends and family in case of a crisis. This app also got him a Silicon Valley Honour Certificate.
Harmanjot Singh started taking Olympiad tests when he was in class 3 and won his first medal in Science during that time. He started coding in class 7.
Apart from creating apps he has also represented India in several Olympiads. He calls physics, mathematics, and computer science as his three best friends. He is also an International Rank 1 in both International Mathematics Olympiad (2020-21) and National Cyber Olympiad (2019-20) conducted by Science Olympiad Foundation.
Google has recently released this App in the Google play store for free. The app has 5000+ downloads and is available for Android users. Harmanjot Singh received the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar in 2021, under the Innovation category. He received the Silicon Valley Code of Honor organised by the White Hat Organization, based in San Francisco California, USA for the Raksha Women’s Safety App which he had developed in 2020.
He has also developed two other apps as well – Calmify – a mental healthcare app developed to help and discover ways to take a healthy approach to your emotional wellness (2021). His other app CyberBuddy is an anti-cyberbullying app (2021).
The two teenagers have been awarded by BYJU’s with a trophy and a year-long subscription to its online tutoring platform. The kids were selected out of hundreds of students by jury. The jury included politician, dancer, and actress Hema Malini, national badminton coach P Gopichand, musician Shankar Mahadevan, author Amish Tripathi, Amul CEO RS Sodhi, director DRDO Anil Mishra.
During the first episode, Lovlina Borgohain India’s Olympic bronze medalist in boxing also met the students and congratulated them. She shared her story of hardship.