City slum to Nairobi Summit on ICPD25: Peer Leader of BSCL makes her community proud

Bhubaneswar: She is a born leader. Though she is from a city-based slum under the Bhubaneswar Town Centre District or Smart District, her leadership abilities have helped her reach international arena with her dedicated work for community leadership and social work under the aegis of the Socially Smart Project of the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL), Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Meet Deepanjali Swain (19) the Peer Leader (Pragati Sathi) who is currently representing the Temple City in the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25. The girl, who has made her slum proud and put it on the world map of development, is not only an expert master trainer of other Peer Leaders (Pragati Sathis) , but a true leader in community and social mobilization.
Deepanjali, currently studying OT Technician course under Para-medical disciplines for operation theatre professionals as a skill development curriculum at the Centurion University of Technology and Management (CUTM), had also proven her leadership capabilities under Humara Bachpan as latter is working as a partner NGO under the Socially Smart Project of BSCL.
Deepanjali is the second child of five girls and one son of her parents. Her father is a contractual employee in a printing press run by the State Government and mother is a housewife. However, it’s her mother’s leadership qualities, which perhaps guided and inspired Deepanjali to learn the skills of community leadership.
Happy over being selected for the international summit, Deepanjali said “I am happy that being a girl and having such a challenging economic condition in my family I could achieve this. I am grateful to the authorities of BSCL and also HBT for which I could get this exposure.’’
Chief Executive Officer BSCL and Commissioner BMC Prem Chandra Chaudhary, who has also joined the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 as a delegate, said “the Socially Smart Project under the Smart City Proposal is to successfully implement a mechanism of social change and equity so that the slum dwellers will have a better life and opportunities and especially with safer and secured environment for women and girls. Deepanjali’s participation in ICPD25 is to take this message further.’’
It can be mentioned here that the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 is the 25th anniversary of the first International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in which 179 governments adopted a landmark Programme of Action which set out to empower women and girls for their sake, and for the benefit of their families, communities and nations.
This year the ICPD25 is co-convened by the Governments of Kenya and Denmark and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at Nairobi. The high-level conference is to mobilize the political will and financial commitments needed to finally and fully implement the ICPD Programme of Action. These commitments will be centered on achieving zero unmet need for family planning information and services, zero preventable maternal deaths and zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls.
The Summit aims to bring everyone together: Heads of state, ministers, parliamentarians, thought-leaders, technical experts, civil society organizations, grassroots organizations, young people, business and community leaders, faith-based organizations, indigenous peoples, international financial institutions, people with disabilities, academics and many others interested in the pursuit of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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