In the second episode of BYJU’S Young Genius, the host Anand Narasimhan first welcomed child prodigy Pooja Bishnoi, who holds the world record of covering a distance of a 3 km run in 12.50 minutes and 10 km run in 48 minutes in the Under-10 category.
Coming from a small village, Pooja was inspired by her maternal uncle and coach Sarwan Budiya. She practices really hard for over 8 hours a day, including 4 hours in the morning from 3 am to 7 am before school. Her daily expenses for travel and training is taken care of by the Virat Kohli Foundation.
Pooja aims to compete at the Youth Olympics and win a medal for India in track and field, "I am preparing for the Youth Olympics and I practice for 8 hours daily and follow my diet," said Pooja during the show, adding that she wakes up at 3 am in the morning to train before going to school. She puts in a further four hours to train in the evening. She is also a world record holder for the youngest Asian with 6-pack abs.
India's current national champion in the women's 100 metres Dutee Chand joined the show virtually and lauded the nine-year-old's dedication. "I so happy that at such a small age she is dreaming big and aiming to win a medal for India in 2024. She is sacrificing so much at this tender age and putting in the effort to achieve her goals, I wish her all the best," said Chand.
Also joining the show was 1996 Atlanta Olympics Games bronze medallist, tennis player Leander Paes, and he gave valuable tips to Pooja as a mentor on what it takes to become an Olympic champion. "There are many athletes around and only a few go on to become champions; but to become an Olympic champion, you need to focus on the mental and emotional aspect of the fitness along with the physical fitness."
The second child prodigy to join the show was 13-year-old Aswatha Biju, who received the ‘Global Child Prodigy Award 2020” in Category Education-Paleontologist and was certified as the ‘Young Paleontologist of India’ by Dr. Mahendra Pal Singh, President of Paleontological society of India and Dr.Vandhana Prasad, Director of Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleontology.
Her interest in paleontology started at the age of 5 when she collected a fossil and mistook it as a shell. She identified it in an encyclopedia and started to learn more about them. She went on to collect nearly 120 specimens of Invertebrates, Vertebrates, Chordates, Flora, and Microfossil.
"I have educated over 6700 students and as a result, in the future, there is a chance that people all around the globe also pursue Paleontology in a passionate form, rather than choose it as a hobby," Aswatha said on the show.
Aswatha also brought fossil samples and spell-bounded the host with her knowledge of different fossils she collected from three river basins she worked under, including a 252 million years old dinosaur bone fragment.
Having received the Young Paleontologist Award from the India Book of Records (IBR) and many others, Aswatha has many prestigious titles to her name. She has worked in three fossil beds; namely the Cauvery river basin (Ariyalur), Palarriver basin (Gunduperambedu), and Godawaririver basin (Maharashtra) which comes under the Mesozoic era.
BYJU'S Young Genius, a Network 18 initiative, airs every Saturday and the repeat telecast takes place on Sunday.