By SHRI RAM SHAW
New Delhi: To commemorate the National Girl Child Day and to recognize the voices of young women and girls, the High Commission of Canada, in collaboration with Pro Fit Sports and AIPL Gurugram, today announced a recreational Women’s Run under the theme “She Leads Here, She Leads Now”. The run will be held on March 5 in Gurguram.
As part of the “She Leads Here, She Leads Now” campaign, the High Commission recognized five young women change-makers from Delhi: Dwishojoyee Bannerjee, Anushka Singh, Komal, Raseel Arora, and Sarah Sinhal. They were recognized for doing exceptional work in the fields of gender equality, women’s health, climate action, and the promotion of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The event was attended by representatives from corporations, civil society organizations and educational institutions, along with social influencers and community leaders.
Announcing the Women Run, Acting High Commissioner Strohan remarked, ‘‘She Leads Here, She Leads Now’ demonstrates the power and importance of young women and girls and how their meaningful participation can lead to more peaceful and prosperous communities. Canada is delighted to recognize the young women change-makers and their leadership to promote human rights. Today, I encourage you all to continue standing up for girls and women, now and into the future.”
The Run is scheduled for March 5, 2023 – in the lead up to International Women’s Day – in Sector 62, Gurugram. The event will promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and the building a more peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous global community. The Run will feature exciting activities such as a warm-up Zumba session, performances by local youth, information booths from NGOs focussed on women’s and girls’ empowerment, and other fun activities.
Details of Young Girl Change-makers:
Dwishojoyee Bannerjee started her initiative ‘The Soft Move’ with the motto of helping young people move away from being ‘Noise-makers’ to being ‘Change-makers’. Dwishojoyee runs a 30-member team – ‘The Paperbag Project’ – that works closely with street vendors, helping them switch from using plastic bags to paper bags. As of May 2022, the team had engaged with over 5000 school students to produce paper bags from newspapers. The initiative helps students understand the ground realities of creating long-term solutions that work for all.
Anushka Singh is a third-year economics honors student at Delhi University. She found refuge in the Girl Up community in 2020. As President of Girl Up Ikhtiyar, she has mobilized and executed multiple projects. These include setting up an exhibition for women refugees from Afghanistan for the 16 Days of Activism campaign, distributing menstrual hygiene kits to over 1000 women, delivering modules on discrimination, ‘good touch bad touch’, and more. Previously, Anushka has been associated with the World Health Organisation as a changemaker, and volunteered with them during the pandemic. She is also a certified Master Trainer in methodologies for building intercultural and socio-emotional competencies by UNESCO and MGIEP.
Komal is 18 and is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Application. She has been connected with Plan India for the past year as a Peer Group Member and has also taken Peer Educator training on Menstrual Health Management. She started participating in debates, open air ‘nukkad natak’ street plays, and speeches, which built her confidence and courage to speak for herself. Today, she is an active advocate of girls’ rights, working towards enhancing awareness of menstrual health and hygiene and combating the surrounding stigma. With the help of her friends, she came up with the unique idea of an emergency PAD KIT, which is affordable, has essential items, and is easy to carry. Her interest in nature photography inspired her to create a social media page that features nature from her perspective.
Raseel Arora is a 19-year-old climate and gender equality activist from New Delhi. As a Regional Leader, she leads Public Relations & various events at the Girl Up Campaign in India. Within her club, she has conducted workshops around STEM and climate change (on UN Women and WHO platforms) and supported Girl Up clubs across India. She also works globally on community building and universal climate education at ClimateScience.org. Raseel studies Political Science at Lady Shri Ram College.
Sarah Sinhal is a 17-year-old in their final year at the Mother’s International School. Currently, they serve as the Co-President of Girl Up MIS, having previous experience as a PR Manager for the same club. In the past, they served at Girl Up Delhi Coalition as the Social Media Head. Sarah planned and delivered a school-based seminar to create awareness about gender equity and inclusion. They also developed 3 modules to address adolescence, gender identity and sexual orientation. Their other accomplishments include leadership positions in school, such as Captain of the Girl’s Football Team and House Captain. They have also volunteered their time with over five youth-based organizations.