Shreya Dharmarajan, a 21-year-old from Chennai, served as the British High Commissioner to India for one whole day, experiencing a unique glimpse into the life of a diplomat .
The British High Commission in New Delhi has been organizing an annual competition called "High Commissioner for a Day" to honor October 11 as International Day of the Girl Child ever since 2017. It serves as an opportunity for Indian women between the ages of 18 and 23 to get a chance to showcase their talents to the world.
The real-life female ‘Nayak’
After being picked from a pool of more than 180 applications from young women throughout the nation, Shreya described her day-long experience on Wednesday as "incredibly enlightening, enriching, and fulfilling"
"Spending a day as the British High Commissioner to India was an incredibly enlightening, enriching, and fulfilling experience. I had the opportunity to interact with and learn from inspiring exemplars of women’s leadership in wide-ranging fields. I was fortunate enough to be a part of lively discussions about India’s efforts toward further achieving the Sustainable Development Goals," she told to IANS.
She engaged in a wide range of activities throughout the course of her day as the top diplomat for the UK in India. Following the G20 Summit, she met with Ajay Sood, the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, to discuss strategies for enhancing research collaboration between the UK and India. She also led discussions at the UN office in New Delhi focused on advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), interacted with the accomplished women leaders of the Chevening SheLeads program.
In her position as High Commissioner for the Day, Shreya also launched a new report on electric car charging infrastructure in collaboration with the Delhi transport department as part of the bilateral technical assistance program Accelerating Smart Power and Renewable Energy in India (ASPIRE).
"I have brought back with me life-long learning about gender equality, wholesome education, and the wider scope of the SDGs. This experience has instilled in me a newfound confidence and motivation, and I look forward to putting all my learnings to fruitful use as a young woman in the field of education," Shreya said in a British High Commission statement.
A little more about her:
Shreya, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi, currently teaches in a government school in Mumbai as a Teach for India fellow.
Shreya is the seventh recipient of the India edition of the ‘High Commissioner for a Day’ competition, an event held each year since 2017.
As reported by The Hindu, Shreya's students served as a significant source of inspiration for her when she entered the competition. She was motivated to seek a platform to amplify the conversations that were already taking place within her classroom.
Applicants for this year’s competition were invited to submit a one-minute video answering the question: ‘How can young people help lead the way in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)' in March, the UK announced a new global Women and Girls Strategy to help tackle gender inequality across the globe.