AYESHA KHAN, a native of northern Indian city of Gorakhpur, won the ‘High Commissioner for a Day’ competition and the chance to be the UK’s top diplomat to India.
She spent the day overseeing the UK’s largest overseas network, chairing briefing sessions, networking with dignitaries, and meeting project beneficiaries.
Khan, 22, was High Commissioner for a Day on last Friday (4).
Now in its third year, the ‘High Commissioner for a Day’ competition is a celebration of the October 11 ‘International Day of the Girl Child’ and was open to Indian women aged 18 to 23.
The competition saw an overwhelming response with applications received from across 14 states.
Over the course of the day, Khan visited Apeejay School in Pitampura where the British Council is implementing the ‘Changing Moves Changing Minds’ programme to promote gender positive roles using dance and cricket.
She also met leaders from business, foreign policy, and civil society and participated in other programmes scheduled for the day.
Khan said: “My day was pretty hectic but also really fun and I got to learn a lot. Leading daily briefings, interacting with stakeholders from the UK and India, and experiencing the richness of multi-culturalism has been a great experience. I believe education is a powerful tool that can help achieve gender equality.”
Deputy High Commissioner for the Day (on other days, British High Commissioner to India), Sir Dominic Asquith said: “I am delighted that we were able once again to celebrate this important occasion by demonstrating to young women from all walks of life that anything is possible and by giving them the opportunity to realise their potential.
“The UK and India are working together as a joint force for good in the world, and we share with India the importance of promoting the cause of gender equality. I hope this initiative will capture people’s imagination around India – whether they live in big cities or small villages.”
Khan holds a degree in journalism and mass communication and a postgraduate diploma. She is currently pursuing a masters in mass communication. She is passionate about human rights, equality and non-violence.