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J8 summit participant lays stress on girls’ education

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YOUNG ACHIEVER: Samuel Venkatesan (left), with Thomas George, communication specialist, UNICEF, addresses mediapersons in Chennai on Thursday.
YOUNG ACHIEVER: Samuel Venkatesan (left), with Thomas George, communication specialist, UNICEF, addresses mediapersons in Chennai on Thursday.

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Samuel Venkatesan, who participated in the recent ‘Junior 8 summit’ (J8) organised by the UNICEF, is back with a bagful of ideas.

The Class XII student from Shoolagiri in Krishnagiri was in the team of students representing India at the event, which was held parallel to the G8 summit in Italy. He was chosen for the enthusiasm and skill he displayed in film making, after being trained as part of a project undertaken by non-governmental organisation NalandaWay and UNICEF.

The participants of the J8 summit deliberated on issues such as Climate Change, Development efforts in Africa and Child Rights in the context of the financial crisis, and presented their views on the final day of the G8 to the world leaders.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, he said, “I was observing all other students who came there…they could speak English fluently and were confident. In our village, many girls stop going to school after Class VIII. They would do all household work and miss the only bus to town.”

In fact, Samuel’s presentation on the condition of girls’ education in rural India and the need for improving it, stirred very interesting discussions among the J8 participants.

For Samuel, this was not only the first trip abroad, but also the first opportunity to see stark differences in economic and social conditions of his peers around the world. “Every evening, we would talk about our lives. When we were talking about what we needed badly, there were students who said they wanted to watch films more often and so on. I said I wanted access to better education. Our concerns were so different.”

Thomas George, communication specialist, UNICEF, said UNICEF would request the Krishnagiri Collectorate to include Samuel in their district level task force.

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