How many of us would know the meaning or the spelling of the word “eleemosynary”( meaning relating to charity) ? Well, not too many right? But Rhea, a 10-year-old Indian origin girl from UK did spell it correctly, and was consequently named winner of the show ‘Child Genius’ on channel 4, after four weeks of difficult competition with other kids her age.
The young girl had no words to describe her success and she simply stated “It meant getting up early, going to sleep late, studying. It just feels really, really great,” Well we could totally relate to all the hard work this 10 year old must have out into the competition.
Her win though was not bereft of controversy. During her specialist subject round on Florence Nightingale’s influence on military and healthcare reform the judges proclaimed that Rhea gave an incorrect answer. However it was her mother Sonal’s move to contest the judgment which finally made the judges accept her answer as the correct one.
As reported by Hindustan times Independent adjudicator Olivia van der Werff agreed the question had been too general and accepted Rhea’s answer of Dr Duncan Menzies to the question: “To which medical officer did Florence Nightingale report to in the Crimea?” With this Rhea was able to avoid a tie-break with Birmingham-born Stephen, who came in third, and Saffy and Rhea secured their place in the final.
The host of the show Richard Osman described this year’s show as “the greatest final in the history of Child Genius”. It was supposedly the intervention of Rhea’s Mother which made the quiz contest the talk of the town. Social media sites were full of comments of parents who saw Sonal as a ‘Pushy’ parent. Sample this:
This reaction may spoil the taste of victory for the family a bit, but the fact remains that at such a young age Rhea’s knowledge is quite extraordinary and that alone took her so far in the competition.
For those of you who are unaware of what ‘Child Genius’ is, it is a brain quest between 20 incredible minds aged 8 to 12 years. A short series of five episodes revolves around the lives of children and their families, exploring ways by which parent raise their ‘gifted children’.