A journalism student from Bengaluru got the rare opportunity of becoming British Deputy High Commissioner for a day and getting to learn about UK-India’s diplomatic ties.
She took over the role of British Deputy High Commissioner, Bengaluru, from Jeremy Pilmore Bedford for a day on Friday and oversaw UK’s third-largest post in India by chairing briefing sessions, holding meetings with the government and business stakeholders on the occasion of the UN-declared ‘International Day of the Girl Child’.
“My day was power-packed as we had everything planned for the entire day. I got to meet all the employees of all the British Deputy High Commissioner office in Bengaluru. Then we went to Tesco in Whitefield and learned how it functions. There we also met Vidya Lakshmi who is so passionate about gender equality,” Ambika told ANI here.
“I would not say it is just a one-day thing, it is an entire procedure as to how we can get to these posts and it is definitely a beginning to see how these office posts function and how the diplomatic relations between India and UK are. It is a process that I have just begun with. It was a good experience, I had fun,” she added.
According to Bedford the aim of this challenge is to highlight UK’s support for women and women’s issues in the UK and globally as well.
“This concept is built around the International Day of the Girl. We conducted this contest across our Indian networks. We had so many young women for the contest of Deputy High Commissioner for a day. We are doing this for the second time in India and we are doing it to highlight UK’s support for both home and international level for women’s voice, issues, women in business,” said Bedford.
Bedford stated that most of the ministries in the UK are held by women and they aspire to have at least half of their oversees ambassadorship to be held by women.
“Ambika chaired a meeting today and got to know about the range of work we do here to take forward to strengthen the relationship between Britain and Karnataka in trade, investment, political world and in press work,” said Bedford.
Recently, Ayesha Khan, who hails from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, won the ‘High Commissioner for a Day’ competition and the chance to be the UK’s top diplomat to India. She served the post on October 4, the British High Commission said in a statement.
Khan spent the day overseeing UK’s largest overseas network, chairing briefing sessions, networking with dignitaries and meeting project beneficiaries.