Sanjukta Pangi, 16, Karanja Guda, Orissa
Why did you want to attend the J8 Summit?
Sanjukta Pangi: I wanted to meet the youth from around the world who were coming to the summit. I want to share my experiences from where I live with children of other countries. My knowledge and skills will be increased after this week is finished. I will gain a lot by meeting all these other young people.
I want to share the constraints and social issues that I have gone through throughout my life. For instance, I was not allowed to go to school. My parents wanted to keep me at home to look after my brothers and sisters. I had to struggle very much to convince my father.
How were you selected?
SP: UNICEF went to my school, and they held several debates and symposiums. Out of 40 children they selected three of us. I think I was chosen for being very active.
What have you learned so far?
SP: Today I understand there are child rights for everybody. I was inspired to find out that I have rights. I think it’s great that our recommendations are going to be given to global G8 leaders. G8 leaders will understand the challenges we are facing and will find some solutions to the problems we have in South Asia.
Have you enjoyed meeting teenagers from around the globe?
SP: I really enjoy it because I’ve made so many friends especially the Egyptian, Russian and the Chinese girls. They have been really kind-hearted and are very friendly to us. The J8 brings together different types of young people from different types of countries united here in Rome.
What would you like to tell G8 World Leaders?
SP: We want to raise our voices to achieve child rights. I expect the G8 leaders will look thoroughly at our problems. I want to request the G8 leaders to follow the recommendations that we put before them without hesitation.
What do you want to bring back with you to India?
SP: I want to take back immense knowledge and skills and share with other young people in my age group. I am having a totally new attitude. My mindset has completely changed. Even after one full day my knowledge is completely grown. A new Sanjukta will be going back to India.