Ms. Khyatee Atolia is one of the Speakers for the “Empowerment Panel” at Wai Wai Presents Glocal International Teen Conference, 2021.
Ms. Khyatee is a vibrant and enthusiastic girl who has been working in the field of sustainable development goals. She is an aspiring author and writing enthusiast. She has worked as a PR representative, content developer, and volunteer for more than 6 different charity organizations and initiatives, in subjects ranging from Sustainable Development Goals to Astronomy.
Khyatee has been enthusiastic and actively working in the field of science and technology sectors with the intention of finding herself. She is also a published author and a speaker who uses her words to address societal concerns such as dignified menstruation and gender equality.
She is a firm believer in action and change. Her work inspires young people to take action for positive change. We held a few conversations with our speakers about her initiatives and plans for the future. Hence, you can read the conversation below;
What inspired you to work in the field of Sustainable Development Goals?
The SDGs are a broad range of goals but with one purpose, to achieve sustainability and prosperity. These are a set of goals that essentially convey the aspirations of the collective community. I have been working on the realization of the SDGs, mostly because I realize how impactful and inspirational they are.
For example: Nearly 1 billion people moved out of extreme poverty between 1999-2013 through MGDs. Yet an estimated 767 million people lived below the extreme poverty line in 2013, and this is why we have the SDGs.
The inspiration that gravitated me towards SDGs was the sheer scope it offers for individual persons. As someone who feels passionately about giving back and doing anything possible to help people live lives better than before, I got attracted to SDGs. A lot of the development plans were formulated keeping the economy as the prime focus, and ignoring factors such as sustainability, and that did not sit right with a younger me. My first magnet itself was the definition of sustainability, a definition as good as it gets: “Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,”, and when I learnt about the large dimensions SDGs covers, from the social, economical and environmental aspects, I knew this was something I wanted to contribute in.
It was also fascinating and encouraging to discover that a great deal of work related to the SDGs was being tackled collaboratively by institutions, individuals and in collaborative arrangements. This partnership approach seems particularly relevant. This global support and collaboration to achieve our shared goals and to be a part of a larger movement is why I keep working on the SDGs. Working on these goals has guided me to enable people to fulfill their true potentials.
What keeps you motivated?
A lot of people think that motivation is important for action. However, I believe that it is the other way around. You do not need to be motivated to do something, but rather you need to do something to get motivated.
So in order to keep motivated, I try to do the activity I need to do, even if I’m not feeling like it. An effective method for this is the pomodoro technique, where you set a timer for 25 minutes and work, and then take a break for 5 minutes. Usually, even after the 25 minutes timer is over, I am so engrossed in and enjoying my work that I do not want to stop. That is one way to get motivated.
I also keep motivated by setting SMART, specific and achievable goals by myself. I think about how to include that goal in my life, what I need to do to make it happen, and then put a timeframe on it (such as a week). Then, I break the goal into small, easy tasks and set regular reminders using apps and my phone calendar.
The best thing that keeps me motivated however is looking at pictures of a younger me and remembering how hopeful and passionate that girl was. I try to work towards the dream she has set for herself and do justice to her aspirations. Looking at her gives me courage and hope when I feel lost, and the motivation to carry on forward.
Some of my current involvements include volunteering for selected organizations, reading books, and doing online courses. I enjoy learning something new constantly and courses through websites like Coursera and Edx are great to explore subjects and hone my existing skills.
I am volunteering at a STEM-based organization called SEDS (Students for Exploration and Development of Space), as a board member. Currently, I am working in the organizing committee of a high altitude balloon with CanSats aiming to launch this winter.
I also volunteer at SOCHAI (Social Changemakers and Innovators), an organisation working in nutrition and menstrual health. I get deep and enriching on ground experiences through this organization.
Other than that, I am involved in organizations like Kumari’s Adventure with Her MoonCycle, the Gream Project, Feed the Hungry Nepal, etc. I also apply for online courses and assistantships, and a lot of my time goes in those as well. The rest of my time is spent reading books and playing the guitar.
My future goal is to get paid to research on a topic of my choice, preferably something in pure mathematics, artificial intelligence, particle physics or astronomy. I see myself working with like-minded and passionate people. Alongside, I aim to do something of concrete social value, perhaps running my own NGO working for women empowerment, mental health or similar. I envision myself as a STEM educator as well, but with a different and more practical approach, guiding many more children like me to the frontiers of beauty.