Ananya Sood, 11
Daughter of fashion designer Namrata Joshipura and Vivek Sood, Business Head of Entropy Designs
She’s blunt about not being a fan of the city. But then being honest is a characteristic Ananya Sood wears proudly like a badge. The 11-year-old daughter of fashion designer Namrata Joshipura and businessman Vivek Sood is surprisingly critical of and astonishingly articulate about the things that concern her, like cleanliness, traffic jams and the “shortage of hipsters” in the city.
Born in New York, Ananya moved to Delhi with her parents in 2008; acclimatising is still taking time. Poverty, pollution and population are some of the things she’s still learning to live with. “I don’t like the way people here keep their surroundings. They are filthy,” squirms the Vasant Valley School student. “The entire city should be vacuumed,” she declares. Then, after an encouraging nod from her mother, she says, “Yes, I really wish Delhi could be sparkling clean.”
With a marathoner for a mother, it’s not surprising that Ananya too has taken up running. A few minutes of running and talking simultaneously make her gasp for air. But she goes on till she can run no more. Pushing herself to the hilt is an important training tip she has received at Thyagraj Stadium, where she’s enrolled with the Indian Track Club. Despite a knee-injury, she refuses to stop till she meets her target.
She loves Lodhi Gardens. “Come, I’ll show you a secret path underwater. During summers when the water dries up, I walk on its edge,” she says. But then suddenly she shifts her focus on running again. “What should be my new target,” she asks her mother, even as she begins charging away.
How would you improve the city if you were the CM?
I would ask people to become gentler. I would encourage more public art, vacuum the whole city and ban cars from operating in select areas.
What does Smart City mean to you?
A city that’s clean with no trace of dirt.
Do you think Delhi is or can be a Smart City?
No, it’s too dirty right now. But once it’s cleaned up, it can become one.
Things you like about Delhi.
My house in Defence Colony; my grandmother’s house in Vasant Kunj; my school Vasant Valley; the swings in the parks and walking my dog around.
Things you don’t like about the city.
Dirt, traffic jams, less amusement parks, pollution, and lack of cool people like New York City. Delhi lacks hipsters.