Tanusya Manimuttu may be only 13, but her social awareness belies her age.

The student of SMK Damansara Utama in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, has successfully raised funds to purchase laptops for underprivileged students struggling to catch up with online studies during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

According to The Star, she came up with the idea after noticing that some of her friends were struggling to study without laptops in June, and started the "laptop for learning" initiative the following month.

"Every child should get equal access to education.

"I came up with this initiative with an aim to reduce digital poverty and exclusion within my capacity," she was quoted telling the daily.

Tanusya worked with her three friends to carry out the initiative and got a little help from her mother Puan Sri Thevi Marimuthu, who handled the finances and procurement of the machines.

First, the team approached a shelter home, an ustaz at a boarding school and authorities at two national schools to identify the recipients, and once they had the list, they spread the word out on social media and to the circle of contacts.

Within two weeks, they had raised almost RM7,000, which was used to buy 10 laptops equipped with the Microsoft software, to be given to underprivileged students.

The team even personally delivered the laptops to the recipients - albeit well within the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that has to be followed during the lockdown.

Tanusya admitted that running the project was tiring "initially" as there was much work that had to be done, including hosting meetings, coordinating with the donors, and keeping track of the funds, among others.

"But I realised that this was my first big charity project and it will take time for me to learn to be more independent in the future," she said.

According to The Star, Tanusya has previously received numerous awards for public speaking, storytelling and dancing, and had also taken part in various charity events and volunteerism.

The teenager and her friends are also planning to embark on a project to help poor families eat more healthily.

Tanusya also urged her fellow youths to do good for the society, saying: "You can always start small."

"Reach out and influence your friends, family and people within your circle, and slowly double down on the efforts.

"Let’s be change agents and drive change for a better tomorrow," she said.

Such commendable effort indeed, Tanusya. She has proven that age is no barrier to one playing a part in helping the society.

Source: The Star
Photo source: The Star, Facebook