Dynamic foot forward

Dynamic foot forward
All of 19, he has been an active participant in many youth-centric activities. And his hard work and determination to change various issues faced by the country are gradually paying off. Shailesh Singhal has been representing India time and again in various international forums. Originally from Siliguri, West Bengal Shailesh came to Bengaluru to complete his studies. He is an undergraduate student and the general secretary of the student council of St Joseph’s College.

Talking about his experience of being a part of the United Nations, he explains, “Last year in the month of April, I went to Germany and was the head youth delegate of the G20 Youth Summit, that was organised by the G200 Youth Forum. Our college has also been actively organising different kinds of campaigns and initiatives, one of which is the ‘Pocket Money’ campaign for the Nepal devastation and I was a part of it. It was an initiative to help the people of Nepal who were affected by the earthquake. This campaign was among the top five campaigns selected by the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth.”

Recently, he was also a part of the UNESCO’s Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) event in Geneva, held in December. This was when he represented his country as the youth delegate in the United Nations. He says, “In December last year, I went to Geneva and represented my country as the youth delegate of UNESCO’s GAMAG event. I was the youngest representative among all the other delegates and was a part of the Global Market Challenges Committee of the forum.” Explaining the UNESCO’s initiative GAMAG, he says, “Through GAMAG, we want to achieve gender equality in and through media. On December 6 and 7, we had an International Development Cooperation meeting in Gender and Media, where representatives of more than 60 governments were present along with many civic bodies and other international organisations.”

He feels every step of his towards these international forums is somehow helping the youth of India. He says, “Getting a chance to sit with some renowned people of great knowledge and experience, discussing matters with them and taking their ideas is something that I will always cherish.”

Adding to that, he states, “I have discussed with them that more youth participation should be encouraged in the upcoming summits and meetings so that the youth can understand the root cause of a problem, synchronise themselves with their views, give opinions and suggestions and have a better vision towards the society.”

Regarding the opportunity to be a part of such a prestigious event, he says, “I am grateful to the UNESCO youth representative from India who noticed my capabilities and hard work towards what I was doing, especially for the ‘HeForShe’ campaign, which was organised by my college for the first time in South India.”

On how the United Nations is significant to India’s development, he says, “There are 193 member states that are associated with the UN, and United Nations is a body that sees the challenges and issues faced by different countries. We have seen that time and again the UN has provided aid to countries in need. It is really important that we have more youth representing our country at various international forums. We need to have more of them participating in the sustainable development of the country. However, the sad part is that currently, we just have a handful of them.”

About his most memorable moment in the programme, he says, “We got the chance to meet the assistant director general of UNESCO, and getting to meet the director of Al Jazeera was for me the greatest moment. I will treasure this experience all my life,” he says.

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