She’s just 14 but Global Youth Ambassador Kehkashan from India wins international award

Global Youth Ambassadors

One of A World at School’s youngest Global Youth Ambassadors has won a major award for her work in empowering young people in India and beyond.

Kehkashan Basu – who is just 14 – was named as one of the recipients of the Non-Resident Indian of the Year (NRI) award. She said: “It was really exciting for me because it’s such a huge honour.”

The schoolgirl lives in Dubai and travelled to Mumbai to collect her prize, which was awarded for her campaigning on education and environmental issues.

Our Global Youth Ambassadors are a network of more than 500 education advocates in over 85 countries. As well as being a GYA, Kehkashan is also Youth Ambassador for the World Future Council, global co-ordinator for United Nations Environment Programme’s Major Group of Children and Youth and also the founder of Green Hope UAE, a youth organisation working for sustainable development.

Kehkashan on stage with the other NRI winners

The Non-Resident Indian of the Year awards are for people of Indian origin who have made their mark internationally. There are five categories in the NRI awards and thousands of people applied from across the world. Kehkashan was the winner of the Academics prize, given to someone who has achieved success in their academic studies and “done exemplary work in their everyday lives which has created an impact on society or their neighbourhood”.

She said: “The occasion was made even more special by the presence of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who won the Global Icon award. Meeting him was truly inspirational.

“The organisers said that they recognised the work I have been doing to empower young people across the region and internationall, in sustainable development, particularly with regard to combating climate change, fighting land degradation, campaigning for the right to education, gender equality and also for my all-round academic and extra-curricular achievements.”

Kehkashan and Green Hope UAE members at an event to assemble school kits for children in Gaza 

Kehkashan has also won the HH Hamdan Award for Academic Excellence twice in 2010 and 2013. 

Kehkashan’s mother Swati told The National in the United Arab Emirates: “We were absolutely ecstatic. Kehkashan, by the grace of God, has been winning many awards. She was very happy. We are happy because her hard work paid off. She works tirelessly to spread awareness and that I thought was really satisfying.”

You can follow Kehkashan on Twitter.

Read inspiring blogs by Kehkashan and other Global Youth Ambassadors here.

More news

See all news