Ask her if she is being burdened with too many responsibilities on her tender shoulders, and 20-year-old badminton star Naina Jaiswal says her mind is trained to take up any task that comes her way. Once a child prodigy motivating young students across the country while equally balancing her professional badminton career, Naina has a task cut out before her as she will be reaching out to masses as an Official Brand Ambassador of India for World Peace.
“I’m proud to be selected, but stepping into the shoes will only add a responsibility on my shoulders as I need to deliver the goals as a peace ambassador,” says composed Naina adding that she was selected based on google analytics. “People working for 17 sustainable development goals of the UN are mostly being handpicked by the institution. Those who are working on girl child empowerment, quality education, women empowerment, etc., are the most desired personalities for being appointed as ambassador. I was selected after the UN officials based on the same criteria,” shares Naina.
The youngest post-graduate in Asia, Naina is presenting her thesis in PhD on the topic ‘Role of Micro-finance in Women Empowerment’. Adding another feather to her cap as the youngest woman to pursue PhD, Naina had to do fieldwork interviewing 300 women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in the interiors of Mahbubnagar district. “I got to know the life of SHG women in villages. Their lifestyle and the problems they have been facing — the questionnaire is to evaluate the economic condition before and after forming a self-help group to benefit themselves mutually with small savings. I used to commute daily for about three months before as part of my research. But the pandemic-hit lockdown has delayed my research,” says Naina.
An ambidextrous Naina was stay put at home trying various recipes all through the lockdown. Keeping herself fit, the badminton player feels that an athlete could retain back the form if he or she is physically fit. During the lockdown days, she made a digital library out of all motivational videos, photos related to table tennis events. Talking about the protests going on across the globe on Black Lives Matters, as a responsible peace ambassador, she would like to give out a message soon through her social media platform.
Naina is all the more excited to attend the event on September 21 (UN World Peace Day) where a massive rally and musical parade will be held. “About 20,000 people will gather at the venue and I will be presenting my lecture on that day,” she says.
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