WHILE children her age are glued to books or tending to their dolls, 10-year-old Sreelakshmi Suresh is hooked to the computer. And working with computers is not something new for this primary school student in Kerala's Kozhikode city.
She has won several awards, in India and abroad, for Web design. Her biggest honour came from the Association of American Webmasters which honoured her by giving her membership along with its highest award for excellence in Web design.
She is the association's only member under the age of 18.
Sreelakshmi, who is the CEO of her own company eDesign Technologies and the brand ambassador of an IT company, created history two years ago when she designed her school's website. Since then, she has designed more than a dozen websites, including her personal one - www.sreekutty.com - reported MSN News.
In February this year, she was presented the National Child Award for exceptional achievement and a medal by Congress party president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi.
Introduced to computers when she was barely four by her lawyer father Menon, Sreelakshmi took to programming like fish to water, says her maths teacher mother Viju.
'When I was studying in Class 3, my dad showed me a website designed by a young boy, Ajay Puri. He told me if I want, I can also design a website. I was really thrilled,' Sreelakshmi told children's magazine Chandamama. Her dad then taught her Web design basics using MS Word and later MS Frontpage.
When Sreelakshmi realised her school, Presentation Higher Secondary School, did not have a website, she couldn't drum up the courage to ask her headmistress for permission to set up a site. So she asked her dad to ask on her behalf.
Permission granted, the budding designer set to work and six months later the school launched the site. 'It was the proudest day in my life,' Sreelakshmi told the magazine.
A scroll on the site - www.presentationhss.com - reads: 'This website is designed and developed by Sreelakshmi Suresh, an 8 year old, 4th standard student of this school. She is the 'Youngest Web Designer Girl of the World'. She has got 18 International Awards for Best Web Designing and Presentation. Her new website is about Kerala, www.stateofkerala.in'
Sreelakshmi isn't letting all this distract her from her studies. Recently she told The Hindu newspaper about her firm: 'At present, I do not have any intention to be a full-time Web designer. First, I want to complete my studies.'
Her parents agree, and confirm that she is very particular about her studies, only heading for her computer after completing her homework.