Pune: Twenty-one-year-old Pravin Nikam, a TYBA student from Sir Parshuram College, will soon be working with 500 youths across the globe, including Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, the education activist.
Pravin has been appointed as the Global Youth Ambassador for A World at School by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, and the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gorden Brown.
Pravin, who is already providing basic education to children from the lower strata of the society in the city through his NGO called Paritranaya and as a volunteer of National Social Scheme (NSS) of university, will now promote education for girls in his new endeavour as the Global Youth Ambassador.
Pravin is the only one from India who has been selected for the position. Speaking to dna, he said, “In order to protect the rights of children and women, I founded Paritranaya, an organization which is focussed on providing education and improving health conditions of children living in the slums and motivating youths to actively participate in strengthening and building a better India.”
When asked how the World at School of United Nations selected him, he said that it is, in fact, a surprise for him as he had never applied for it.
“I worked for various NGOs and have gone to different states to promote education for girls. In the month of January, I was nominated as Global Shaper by the Global Shapers Community, which is an initiative by the World Economic Forum. May be since I am associated with several organizations and working closely on various issues, they have selected me,” he said.
Pravin has achieved several accolades: As president at Indian Students Parliament, he was awarded the Lead Earth Fellowship by TERI - the Energy and Resource Institute for Innovation and Sustainability in Environment and was also selected as a National Youth Corp Volunteer at Nehru Yuva Kendra.
He said that before getting selected, he had interacted with Malala and other Global Youth Ambassadors on Google hangouts and discussed the road map for the work they are going to do in the field of spreading education among children, especially girls.
“As a Global Youth Ambassador, I would be travelling to various states in the country and would be working on girls’ education and also communicate with policy makers and urge them to give attention to the grey areas suggested by me,” he added.
Dr Pandit Shelke, director of Board of Students Welfare and Coordinator of NSS, University of Pune, said that it is a proud moment for the university that one of its students has achieved such a position. Dr VB Gaikwad of the Board of Colleges and University Development felicitated him and congratulated his Program Officer of NSS from SP College, Dr Vilas Ugale.