Girls take over as envoys to India for a day

Updates from :  Deccan Herald

The International Day of Girl Child was celebrated in a unique way on Wednesday, with young Indian women taking over as envoys of various diplomatic missions in the national capital.

Rudrali Patil from Maharashtra, who is pursuing law in Noida, was the British High Commissioner to India.She took over from Dominic Asquith, who was happy to be her deputy and help her understand the way the UK’s diplomatic missions and consular offices work in India.

Babita was the French ambassador, replacing Alexandre Ziegler. Heena took over from the acting US envoy to India, MaryKay Loss Carlson, while Madhuja Nigam was New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India, taking over from Joanna Kempkers. So did 19 other girls in eight diplomatic missions in New Delhi.

It was a unique initiative by Plan India, a unit of global child rights organization Plan International, along with the Delegation of the European Union to India, High Commission of Canada in India and other foreign diplomatic missions in New Delhi.

On job experience

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to act as British High Commissioner for a day, highlighting the importance of women and girls’ rights,” said Rudrali, who took a tour of the High Commission and got acquainted with the works of various departments.

She also held meetings with the directors of UK’s diplomatic network in India.

“I’m slightly nervous…Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson may notice just how impressive she (Rudrali) is and decide to make her my permanent replacement,” quipped Asquith.

“Heena is taking over my job as @USAmbIndia. How will you #empowergirls?” tweeted Carlson, Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in New Delhi.

She also posted her picture with Heena on Twitter.

“I believe the girls can do everything, but they do need the support of everyone to break down the barriers that stop them from achieving,” said 18-year-old Babita.

Plan International celebrated the International Day of Girl Child around the world with over 1000 girls taking over as ambassadors, high commissioners, presidents, mayors, CEOs, senior directors, school principals and editors for a day.

“Through the takeovers and by occupying the spaces and places where they are rarely seen or heard, girls will seek to highlight the challenges they face and represent their power and determination to build a more equal world that values girls and promotes their rights,” said Plan India’s executive director Bhagyashree Dengle.

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