INDIAN STUDENT IS “BRITISH HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR A DAY”
Esha Bahal from Amity University leads Britain’s biggest overseas diplomatic network for 24 hours
The Voice of Chandigarh News | Travel Trade Reporter
Countries around the world will celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October.
To mark the event, the British High Commission organised a competition for women aged between 18 and 23 to become the British High Commissioner to India for a day. To enter, the competitors submitted a short video presentation on the theme “What does Gender Equality means to you?”
58 students/women took part, with contributions across the country from Delhi to Hyderabad. The successful entry was from Esha Bahal, a student of Political Science at Amity University in Noida. Esha plans to become a social entrepreneur after completing her higher studies in public policy and law.
Acting British High Commissioner for the Day, Esha, said:
“Acting as British High Commissioner for a day has been a great and really unique experience. I’ve learnt about the breadth and depth of UK-India relations – and had the opportunity to highlight the importance of gender equality and inclusivity, issues which are of great importance to me.”
British High Commissioner (or Deputy High Commissioner for the day!) Sir Dominic Asquith said:
“I am delighted that we were able to run this competition and give young Indian women a platform to discuss their rights. I thank all participants for submitting their excellent videos.
Esha is truly impressive. She is clearly committed to girls’ rights and her video was outstanding. I would like to congratulate her on her success and wish her all the best for her future endeavours.
Gender equality is an issue of great importance to the UK – the 11th is an important moment to reflect on the work still to be done to tackle this issue, and to celebrate the progress being made across the world.”
- Esha assumed charge of the British High Commission in New Delhi on 8 October. She led a meeting with heads of departments across the High Commission and visited teams to become acquainted with their work. She visited a project site to an M&S factory in Gurgaon, where the High Commission in collaboration with M&S is running a Gender Equality Programme for the women workers in the garment industry; she also met the winners of Tech Rocketship Awards and had a formal interaction with the media also.
- The British government is working in partnership with civil society, academics, government and, most importantly, girls themselves to empower them and raise awareness about their rights. For example, the BHC supported a project sensitising and training police officers across 5 Indian states on improving access to justice for female victims of violence, using standard operating procedures when dealing with victims of trafficking and building understanding of how to apply India’s existing laws and legislation in violence against women and girls (VAWG) cases. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala BHC supported a project that helped build knowledge sharing and learning among 300 legal, police and judicial officers. To combat violence and decimation against Dalits in India, BHC supported a programme, which trained 2000 women on their legal rights creating the first-ever network of Dalit Women Human Rights Defenders trained as paralegals. BHC has also supported programmes training over 400 community social workers on how to address cases of sexual violence.