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Two Indians win Queen's Young Leaders award in UK

Source: PTI
December 09, 2015 18:33 IST
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Neha Swain and Kartik Sawhney are among 60 others who won the Queen's Young Leaders award 2016. 

Neha SwainTwo Indians have won the Queen's Young Leaders award in the UK for their exceptional work in transforming the lives of others and making a lasting difference in their communities.

Neha Swain (left), 28 and Kartik Sawhney (inset, below), 21 from India are among 60 others who won the Queen's Young Leaders award 2016 which will be presented by the British monarch at a gala ceremony in Buckingham Palace in June next year.

Kartik, who was born blind, has been acknowledged for his exceptional work highlighting universal access to education for all.

"I am so honoured to be part of the Queen's Young Leaders programme. I am passionate about universal access to education," said Sawhney, who was born blind.

"After discovering that blind students were unable to pursue science after Grade 10, I appealed and enrolled as India's first Grade 11 blind science student. I faced similar challenges when trying to enter engineering colleges.

"I founded Project STEMAccess, which offers hands-on science workshops in India, as well as virtual training sessions," he said.

Neha, a youth facilitator and co-founder of NGO Rubaroo provides an inclusive space for young people, irrespective of their socio-economic background, to develop their leadership skills through interactive workshops.

Her team provides workshops to schools in India free of charge and has so far worked with nearly 2,000 young people in the city of Hyderabad.

"Once again 60 incredible young people from around the Commonwealth have shown strength, leadership, empathy and drive.

"Some of our winners are just embarking on their leadership journey and others are more established.

"Either way, we recognise not only what these amazing young people have achieved, but also their potential in changing people's lives for the better in the countries and communities in which they live," said Astrid Bonfield, chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust present the award to recognise young people from across the 53 countries of the Commonwealth who are "taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and making a lasting difference in their communities".

Kartik SawhneyThe Queen's Young Leaders Programme was established in 2014 by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with Comic Relief and the Royal Commonwealth Society in recognition of the Queen's lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

While the award does not come with any cash incentive, it offers each of the winners bespoke mentoring and online learning provided by the University of Cambridge.

Images: Kind courtesy Neha Swain and Kartik Sawhney


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