Samuel Venkatesan, 17, Dam Kottapalla, Tamil Nadu
Why did you want to attend the J8 Summit?
Samuel Venkatesan: From the start, I wanted to express my experiences where people would listen. It should be the biggest forum possible which can influence decisions. Now I have got the chance to talk about what I have experienced.
How were you selected?
SM: I am part of the child reporter initiative (in India). When I joined this group, I learned how to video and got interested in expressing issues through video. I’ve done two films on sensitizing teachers and village superstitions.
What have you learned so far?
SM: There is a difference between the level of understanding between young people from the developed and developing countries. The kids from developed countries already have a good education -- they are thinking about things beyond education like having fun. But the kids from developing countries, they are worried about their education. They have to work to make sure they are getting quality education.
I am also starting to learn a little bit of English. I have learned to stand up and speak to the group and express myself. I’ve also learned to operate a lift – I’ve never been in one before.
Have you enjoyed meeting teenagers from around the globe?
SM: I am extremely happy with the other teens who are trying to communicate with me even if my language is a barrier. They try to talk to me through sign language. They are good and polite to me.
What would you like to tell G8 World Leaders?
SM: I want free, quality education for all kids in developing country children and ensuring rights for girls. Special attention needs to be given to orphans, like me who’s lost my father. What do you want to bring back with you to India? SM: Until now, I didn’t know about child rights. Now I’m aware. I’m going to spread awareness among India’s children about child rights.