New Delhi: Being the British High Commissioner in India can be a hectic job, and a 22-year-old woman from Gorakhpur experienced this when she held the post for a day.
Ayesha Khan won the chance to step into the diplomat's shoes as she topped the 'High Commissioner for a Day' competition which is a celebration of October 11 'International Day of the Girl Child' and is open to Indian women aged 18-23.
On October 4, as envoy, she spent the day overseeing the UK's largest overseas network, chairing briefing sessions, networking with dignitaries and meeting project beneficiaries, a British High Commission statement said.
The selection for the 'High Commissioner for a Day' competition, now in its third year, requires a person to record a one-minute video on why gender equality is important and whom they see as their biggest gender equality inspiration.
The competition saw an overwhelming response with applications received from across 14 states, the statement 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," Khan was quoted as saying.
"I believe education is a powerful tool that can help achieve gender equality. I have been following the past winners of this competition and I thank the British High Commission for giving me this opportunity," she said.
Deputy High Commissioner for the Day (on other days, British High Commissioner to India), Dominic Asquith said, "I greatly enjoyed working for and with Ayesha for the day. She spoke articulately, passionately and convincingly on this important issue."
"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," Asquith said.
Over the course of the day, Ayesha visited Apeejay School in Pitampura, met with women working in Delhi's unorganised sector and learnt how they are supported by SEWA, and hosted a discussion with a beneficiary of Facebook's GOAL (Going Online as Leaders) programme.
She also met leaders from business, foreign policy and civil society.