Ashleen Khela, the Indian-origin girl becomes Australia’s youngest author


Our Bureau


11-year-old Ashleen Khela has become Australia’s youngest female author with her debut book ‘17 Stories’. Through its sales, the book is contributing towards the Cancer Council of Australia, the Starlight Children Foundation, and aiding underprivileged children in India through its sales.

Ashleen embarked on a unique fundraising journey—collecting plastic and glass bottles, soft drink cans for recycling, breaking open her piggy bank, and utilizing the proceeds for the book’s publication.  Her book spans 4 main genres: fantasy, magic, myth, and mystery. While rooted in fiction, some narratives draw inspiration from her own life experiences, concluding with uplifting morals for young readers.

Ashleen disclosed that the inspiration for her writing journey arose from her trips to India, where she witnessed social disparities. She encourages reflection on social injustice and deprivation, especially highlighting the challenges faced by underprivileged children living in roadside slum hovels in India. Ashleen shared excerpts from her book, citing ‘’Elisa and Josephine’’ as a poignant tale illustrating the contrast in lifestyles between kids in developed and developing nations. Another story, “Zombie Virus Diary Entry” creatively captures her personal experiences during the Covid lockdown, providing insight into the feelings of an Australian school kid confined at home.

Ashleen aims to raise awareness in Western countries about underprivileged children in developing nations and generate funds to support their needs. Looking ahead, Ashleen said she is already crafting her next fictional storybook, aspiring to publish it before her 12th birthday. “This upcoming work will shed light on neglected women’s rights, emphasizing the capabilities of young women in both privileged and underprivileged parts of the world. As I grow older, I envision establishing my own charity to further aid underprivileged children,” she added.

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