Updated May 31st, 2024 at 22:14 IST

Teen author recognised as young achiever for purpose-driven writing

Aaditya’s first ‘book’ was a handwritten, stapled encyclopaedia of ancient civilisations he wrote when he was 8.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Aaditya Sengupta Dhar - Teen author recognised as young achiever for purpose-driven writing | Image:India Achievers’ Forum
Advertisement

The India Achievers’ Forum, an apex national body that has been recognising excellence across fields for over twenty years, conferred its Young Achievers’ Award recently. The honour went not to a business leader or entrepreneur, but to a sixteen-year-old author, Aaditya Sengupta Dhar, for the impact he has been making through his writing.

Aaditya, a student at Mumbai’s Ecole Mondiale World School, said, “Thanks to the Indian Achiever’s Forum for thinking me worthy of this award. Awards are not the most important thing, but this encourages me to keep using my passion for writing to try to serve others.”

Advertisement

Aaditya’s first ‘book’ was a handwritten, stapled encyclopaedia of ancient civilisations he wrote when he was eight, and seeing it displayed in the school library motivated him to keep writing. He wrote his first fantasy novel Secret Tails (2018) when he was ten. His next novel, Legend of the Broken Blade (Treeshade Books, 2022), won critical acclaim, being selected as one of the ‘Top 15 must-read books of 2023’ by The Morning Standard. 

Aaditya aspires to use his writing to make a positive difference. His 2020 eBook, Underdogs, raised awareness of the importance of helping underprivileged children unleash their potential, with sales proceeds donated to Save The Children India. His short story, Tug of War (2021), about teens finding common ground among communal tensions, won first prize in the Melton Global Storytelling Contest. His 2021 book, Back from the Brink, was based on research funded by a micro-grant he won from MIT Solv[ED] and highlighted the issue of urban animal extinction and how we can make a difference through simple, everyday steps. His internship at UNICEF in 2023 inspired him to learn more about how to make a broader difference, and his next book, The Teen’s Guide to Saving the World (Anecdote Publishing, 2023), inspired teens to create a positive impact in their communities, won Silver at the Non-Fiction Book Awards in the US and was an Amazon bestseller in India.

Advertisement

His latest novel Kaalchakra (Anecdote Publishing, 2024), is an Amazon bestseller and aims to make modern Indian youth feel that while we live in a globalized world, we should take pride in our cultural roots and heritage. A short story on this theme won a Gold Finalist Award at the prestigious Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition in 2023. Aaditya plans to donate all royalties to the Udaan Foundation to fund the continuing education of needy children. 

Sagar Azad, CEO of Anecdote Publishing says, “We are proud of Aaditya, and we look forward to partnering with him to continue making a positive difference through the power of writing.”

Advertisement

In an age when reading habits are on the wane, and teenagers are addicted to digital diversions, Aaditya shows us that it is indeed possible to grow up in a digital age, and yet keep alive the love for reading and writing. Commentators often speak of India’s ‘demographic dividend’- the more than 250 million adolescents joining the workforce in the coming years. Aaditya’s story shows that the impact of this demographic dividend need not just be limited to the economic impact of a young workforce, but the force for positive change that the young can be if their passions and energies are channelled in the right direction.

 

Advertisement

Published May 31st, 2024 at 22:14 IST