of the Association of American Webmasters and has bagged national and international honours including the prestigious Global Internet Directories and the Golden Web awards instituted by the US government. At age eight she is an expert web designer who has just put together her schoolâ€™s official website. But thatâ€™s the least of Kozhikode-based Sreelakshmi Sureshâ€™s achievements on the worldwide web.
The daughter of Suresh Menon, an advocate, and Viju, a school teacher, Sreeâ€™s association with computers and the new wonder science that is information technology began when she was four. She would tinker for hours with Microsoftâ€™s paint and brush software program conjuring up ingenious art works. Noting her interest â€” and talent â€” in computer science, her father introduced her to the world of websites and blogs.
"She took to these programs like fish to water," recalls Viju, and before long, was designing websites for her peers and neighbours. When she expressed a desire to design her school â€” Presentation Higher Secondaryâ€™s â€“ official website, the principal was more than willing to let her give it a shot. "Since my school didnâ€™t have an official site, I took it up as a challenge. And I got my parentsâ€™ and schoolâ€™s full support for it," says Sree who also loves reading and painting.
Following several weeks of after-school work â€” devoting six hours of labour each day to the assignment â€” Sreeâ€™s website finally took shape in nine weeks. It was inaugurated on January 15 this year by Binoy Viswam, a minister in the Kerala state government. Naturally, it was a moment of pride for her parents when she was widely feted by the local and national media.
Unsurprisingly this website prodigy has become a role model for her classmates and students of Presentation Higher Secondary School. "The girl is an inspiration even to grown-ups," says Roselit, the headmistress of this CBSE affiliated school which has an enrollment of 1,108 students.
But despite the schoolâ€™s praise â€” and media attention â€” mother Viju feels her daughter needs to tone down her interest in computers. "I donâ€™t want her to strain her eyes at this young age," she says candidly. However such maternal fears donâ€™t seem to have deterred Sree from moving onto her next project â€” putting up her familyâ€™s official website on the net!