Achievements

‘My school strongly encouraged me to open a YouTube channel’

Apeejay Faridabad class 7 student Punya Garg highlights pertinent social issues such as reservations, Swachh Bharat and girls’ education through her channel

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Punya Garg, class seven student at Apeejay School, Faridabad, is on her way to become a YouTube sensation. Every week, she uploads videos of monologues, poetry recitation and story narrations. In an interview she discusses the process behind selecting a socially relevant topic, the process of making videos and reaching a larger audience. Edited excerpts:

At what age did you start making videos?

I started making content videos from the age of six. I was good at reciting poems, so I only made videos of poetry recitation initially. Gradually I moved towards making videos of monologues and stories. In 2017, I opened my own YouTube channel. It has 500 subscribers at present.

What was the inspiration behind creating your YouTube channel?

I started this channel since I have good oratory skills. My mother suggested that I should open my own YouTube channel. I was strongly encouraged by the school as well. So I decided to open my channel. I want to realise my talent through this channel, I want to reach everyone through my talent of oration.

Bhuvan Bam, Prajakta Koli, there are so many successful YouTubers now. Whom do you follow?

I watch a YouTube channel named ‘Aayu and Pihu show’. They make motivational videos. I also follow another channel named ‘MyMissAnand’. I like to listen to Kumar Vishwas’s poems as well on YouTube. But apart from this, I don’t have any favourite YouTuber as such.

What are some of the common themes on which you make videos?

 I love to make videos on current topics such as caste reservation, the Swachh Bharat campaign, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign etc. I check for contemporary topics in the newspaper. I get my ideas for topics from there. Of course, poetry recitation is my favourite idea for a video.  Often I combine the two ideas as well. Like in one of my recent videos, I recited a poem on reservations: “Pratibha ko mat kato aarakshan ki talwar se”.

Your subscriber base is growing. What is the secret behind your success?

 I’ve worked very hard. I kept making videos and uploading them. For publicity, I shared the video with all my friends and relatives. My parents, too, shared the video on their Facebook profiles to reach a larger audience.

Could you please describe the process behind making a video?

It generally takes me around two days to find a topic. After finding a good topic, I then decide the mode of presentation, if I have to present a mono-act or perform it as a story or recite a poem on that theme.

Then the shooting part takes place. I have a tripod stand at home and I use the regular mobile phone camera. The perfect shot seldom comes in one go, so I do multiple takes. It takes me approximately 40-45 minutes to complete the shooting.

Do you edit the video yourself?

My mother and my sister edit the video with the help of video editing apps such as Kinemaster or Viva video. The total process of making a video, from topic selection to the final video after editing, takes around a week.

You have more than 500 subscribers. Is your YouTube channel monetised by now?

No, it isn’t. YouTube accounts get monetised upon reaching 1000 subscribers. I am yet to reach there. However, upon hitting 500 subscribers, the community tab was unlocked in my channel. I can post a photograph and a message.    

Have you received the Play button or any other award from YouTube?

No nothing as of yet. One gets the silver play button after reaching 1 Lakh subscribers. The golden play button is awarded after one has 10 lakh subscribers on their channel. So it’s a long road ahead. However, I did receive a congratulatory email from YouTube on reaching the 500 subscriber mark.

Any tips for beginners on how to increase their subscribers and views?

Just do the hard work and keep making videos, lots of videos. (Laughs)

How does the school help you in pursuing your passion?

Actually it started from the school only. The school always motivated me in all my stage performances, since Nursery class. They really appreciated me a lot. They strongly encouraged me to open my YouTube channel.

I would like to mention Principal ma’am Ms Parul Tyagi. She supported me so much. Recently when I achieved 500 subscribers, she called me to her cabin and appreciated my efforts and encouraged me to keep on going. I would like to thank her for the sweet gesture.

What are the upcoming videos on your channel?

I am thinking of uploading some poetry recitation videos next. I am searching for some contemporary relevant poems for that.

Arijit Roy is a trainee correspondent at Apeejay newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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