If you dislike reading, wait till you hear the story of this passionate tween who thrives as a published author, an entrepreneur, a book reviewer, motivational speaker and what not!
Arnay Agarwal, a 12-year-old literature enthusiast has authored and published three books so far and is currently working on his fourth, which is expected to be published by mid-2021! This young superstar is the founder of eReadingShala - A non-profit organisation that promotes reading among the children of India and conducts free online book reading sessions. He is also the CEO of The Storytelling Society of India. Besides reading, Arnay enjoys delivering motivational speeches through his public speaking talents. He has delivered speeches in several forums including TedX, and his very own YouTube channel!
In our conversion, Arnay speaks about his budding interest in literature, and how he started reading at a very young age. Unlike many other children his age, Arnay also ensures that he devotes a fair portion of his day to reading books. When asked about how he started his reading journey, Arnay commented saying that “It all started when I started to give some book reviews, speak on podcasts, and give motivational talks.”
Initially, he would just share his writing work on social media groups that he created, but gradually he felt the urge to connect with his fellow readers. That’s when Arnay started to conduct live book reading sessions, where he reads books with other children in order to motivate them and instil a positive feeling about books in them. “I found out that many children don’t like reading, and I couldn’t understand why they don’t like it! That’s why I wanted to motivate reading among them.” Although he is a child himself, Arnay thoroughly understands how important reading is.
Young Arnay is also an entrepreneur. He founded eReadingShala at the age of 10. Under the same foundation’s banner, he started his campaign, ‘Read Children Read’ to encourage storytelling on various topics for younger children through storytelling sessions that he leads himself. He also reviews several books under this organisation.
At the age of 11, he founded The StoryTelling Society of India, to promote storytelling among youth. With the decision to utilise his reading, writing and speaking skills, Arnay also trains young children in public speaking through his own academy. His podcast, blogs and YouTube channel are also well-known for their content! All of this at this young age is indeed quite inspirational! Arnay believes that all of this experience that he has gained over the years has helped him become better at his interests.
This budding writer has also been acknowledged and featured on many platforms for his excellence and wonderful writing skills. “It’s really enjoyable to see something that I’ve written coming on a big level,” says the talented writer. He also updates a lot of content online, including Facebook where he uploads motivational talks and moral stories which have received a lot of love from the audience!
Arnay also makes sure to follow a disciplined and progressive schedule despite all the amazing work that he does. For instance, he spends about an hour writing, some more time planning his day, how and where he would want to do it, and distributing his work through a period of time. “You can’t do everything in one day, you’ll have to do it day by day, one step at a time. And that’s how I manage it,” says the punctual champion. Each day, he does some work after school and makes it a point to subsequently increase his productivity rate day by day.
When asked about what he aspires to do, Arnay says, “You know when Neil Armstrong put his first step on the Moon? That gave me the hope that someday I’ll be the first one to put my first step on a planet!”
This young achiever’s story has truly motivated many other children his age, and we hope he continues to pursue his passion and dreams!
Interviewed by: Hasini Lakshminarayanan
Written by: Gauri P Nimbalkar
Edited by: Akshath Jaganmohan