Wednesday, May 21

The 10 year girl concerned about economy receives reply from RBI Guv

Young Girl with Rajan
Young and vibrant Laila Indira Alva, who is currently studying in class VI of Sanskriti School, Chanakyapuri, and is a resident of Gurgaon, was recently in the news when a letter she wrote to RBI governor Raghuram Rajan in September 2013 was made public. She sent the letter along with a $20 note which she had saved during her trip abroad, offering to help the economy, which was in the middle of a financial crisis at that time.

Laila has been an active member of the editorial team in her school and has also interviewed Milkha Singh. Currently learning Spanish, she feels she needs to brush up her spoken Hindi. She's an avid reader, with a keen interest in writing fiction stories, and writes one book per year for her school's collection and calls her mother her publisher. Having volunteered to teach English to underprivileged children in Gurgaon, Laila wants to be a part of an NGO dedicated to child rights in the future. The sports enthusiast who enjoys swimming, and loves to play the piano, which, she says, she learned from her father, hopes to grow up to be an RBI governor herself one day.

Girl's letter to Rajan showing concern for the economy


Turning eleven this July, Laila was ten when she wrote the letter last September. On asking how she learned about the economic situation of the country, she said, "I recently picked up the habit of reading the newspapers from my father, as I used to only read books earlier. But my father insisted that there are interesting articles in the paper that I should read, and my brother also reads with me. So, all of us read the newspaper everyday now; if I ever have a doubt, my parents explain it to me in detail."

"Last September, one day in the morning, my parents were talking about how weak the economy was, that the dollar was really strong and the rupee had hit a record low, and I heard that Raghuram Rajan was the new RBI governor."
A Kind gesture of Guv

"So, I decided to write a letter to Raghuram Rajan to help save the economy, as I had saved twenty dollars from my trip to Israel with my parents. In the letter, I wrote to him saying that now since he's the RBI governor, I hope he comes with new ideas that'll help our economy since I didn't want people to think that our country is corrupt. I looked up the address on the Internet and after writing the letter, I gave it to my mother to correct the grammar, and I asked her if I should send it. She said it was entirely my choice, but both of them were really proud of me," she adds.

Laila not only received a very humble reply from Rajan himself, but he also sent her an invitation to visit him in Mumbai. "When I sent it, I did not expect a reply. When I was coming back from school one day, my mother told me about it, and I was really surprised. My father and I went to see him in Mumbai; I was really excited as I only had about fifteen minutes with him. I think he's a really good governor and he's doing a very good job," she said, talking like any 10-year-old expressing her excitement about meeting the governor. "I asked him a few questions on inflation, and behind his desk, there was a wall with the pictures of previous governors who were mostly men, so I asked him why there were no women governors. To which he replied, 'May be you can become a governor one day.' He also gave me a few comics, which explained economic concepts such as inflation, setting up a bank account, how to prevent being cheated and exchanging torn notes for new ones in the bank. He also suggested that we visit the coin museum, which was right next to the building. It was a really nice experience as I saw different currencies there. I would like to meet the governor again in the future.

1. ToI
2. BBC

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