Genius in India-Akrit Jaswal
Posted July 10, 2008on:
Years ago , footage emerged from a remote village in India . The video shows a young girl receiving surgery to separate her fingers , which were badly burned and fused together. Why did this operation make headlines around the world? The surgery was performed by a 7-year-old boy named Akrit Jaswal.
Now 13 years old , Akrit has an IQ of 146 and is considered the smartest person his age in India -a country of more than a billion people. Before Akrit could even speak , his parents say they knew he was special.
“He learned very fast , ” says Raksha , Akrit’s mother. “After learning the alphabet , we started to teach him joining of words , and he started writing as well. He was two.”
At an age when most children are learning their ABCs , Akrit was reading Shakespeare and assembling a library of medical textbooks. When he was 5 years old , he enrolled in school. One year later , Akrit was teaching English and math classes.
Akrit developed a passion for science and anatomy at an early age. Doctors at local hospitals took notice and started allowing him to observe surgeries when he was 6 years old. Inspired by what he saw , Akrit read everything he could on the topic. When an impoverished family heard about his amazing abilities , they asked if he would operate on their daughter for free. Her surgery was a success.
After the surgery , Akrit was hailed as a medical genius in India . Neighbors and strangers flocked to him for advice and treatment. At age 11 , Akrit was admitted to Punjab University .. He’s the youngest student ever to attend an Indian university. That same year , he was also invited to London ‘s famed Imperial College to exchange ideas with scientists on the cutting edge of medical research.
Akrit says he has millions of medical ideas , but he’s currently focused on developing a cure for cancer. “I’ve developed a concept called oral gene therapy on the basis of my research and my theories , ” he says. “I’m quite dedicated towards working on this mechanism.”
Growing up , Akrit says he used to see cancer patients lying on the side of the road because they couldn’t afford treatment or hospitals had no space for them. Now , he wants to use his intellect to ease their suffering. “[I’ve been] going to hospitals since the age of 6 , so I have seen firsthand people suffering from pain , ” he says. “I get very sad , and so that’s the main motive of my passion about medicine , my passion about cancer.”
Currently , Akrit is working toward a bachelor’s degrees in zoology , botany and chemistry. Someday , he hopes to continue his studies at Harvard University ..