Trinidadian 11-year-old Daniel Rajkumar, 11, received a Silver Award in the “Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2021” hosted by the Royal Commonwealth Society, England.
Rajkumar is a pupil of Reform Presbyterian Primary School and resides in Marabella and Sangre Grande.
On October 1, Daniel, in the junior age group was among a total of 25,648 entries from students around the world in both senior and junior groups.
Students were awarded gold, silver or bronze and certificates of participation based on their ranking in the prestigious writing competition.
Rajkumar entered the competition in June 2021 where he wrote on the impact of COVID–19 on the lives of people.
His parents Cherry Ann Rajkumar and Marvin Ramnarine submitted one of his stories for the competition.
Rajkumar, who, at the time was suffering from an injured left arm, did not attend school the entire term and his parents choosing to enter him still hoped that Rajkumar would feel a sense of satisfaction from simply being a part of the competition.
Despite his injury, he would write a little from time to time as his thoughts flowed. “Writing stories is not very easy. It takes a lot of time and focus,” Rajkumar said.
How did Daniel begin writing? His parents and grandparents encouraged him to write during his spare time.
Asked how he feels about his award, Rajkumar replied: “I feel happy that I got the chance to be a part of the competition. I look forward to doing much more in the future. I am very concerned about health and safety during the pandemic so I wrote about it hoping that others would be inspired to feel the same.”
An excerpt from Daniel’s essay written on the theme– “What do you miss most during the pandemic?”
“Stay in your homes!” tired nurses reminded. “Wear your facemasks, wash your hands and maintain social distancing!” they insisted. “All the hospitals are filled!” Images of human suffering replaced advertisements of fit men and women displaying health and wellness.”