ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM FELLOWSHIP - CLASS OF 2021

United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In 2021, over 25,000 young leaders on 2,000+ campuses across 153 nations applied to join the Class of 2021. 136 campuses worldwide (just 6%) were selected to host the 2,000+ Millennium Fellows. The Class of 2021 is bold, innovative, and inclusive.

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UNITED NATIONS ACADEMIC IMPACT AND MCN PROUDLY PRESENT ISHIKA KIRAN, A MILLENNIUM FELLOW FOR THE CLASS OF 2021.

University of Delhi | New Delhi, India | Advancing SDG 5 & UNAI 6

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" It is truly an honour to be selected for a fellowship so prestigious and enriching. I want to make things better, and I have a vague idea of what could help me achieve that. But, I believe the Millennium Fellowship would help me get the training I need to polish my actions, to transform my ideas into actions. I believe it would connect me with like-minded people and I might even discover new ways to move forward with what I intend to do. I love interacting with people, sharing my stories and hearing their's, because I believe that stories flesh out any entity. There might be more aspects of the gendered digital divide and women empowerment that may have escaped my notice, but which could become clearer after interacting with others. "

Millennium Fellowship Project: Bridging the Divide

Project Bridging The Divide aims to bridge both a digital divide and an informational one. Having identified accessibility barriers prevalent in our times, this project aims to educate young girls about internet safety measures as well as guide them to meaningful resources, so that they're able to access the empowering facets of the internet. It will also reach out to girls and give them basic knowledge about menstrual health along with a free supply of sanitary napkins so that the stigma around this biological process is no longer a constraint. This Project will principally focus on the rural belts of Odisha, Haryana and Delhi.

We called this project "Bridging the Divide" because the first thing that we all agreed upon was the fact that a very clear divide of accessibility exists between women and men. This divide prevents women from ever escaping the cycle of oppression. In some places, it's a digital divide that prevents women from accessing everything that the internet offers and isolates them further. In some, it's the stigma around menstruation that's driving a wedge and preventing women from talking freely about any of their issues. In others, it's a lack of access to important resources like menstrual hygiene products.

This project aims to increase accessibility to public spaces for women and is focused on SDG 5. Throughout the sessions that we attended as a part of the Fellowship, the one thing that stood out to us was that no two issues can be treated the same. There are always nuances involved that need to be addressed. We applied this realisation while framing our approach. Another thing that we learnt was to respect the individuality of the people we were to meet. Learning this shaped our conversational approach to sensitisation.

The team recognised that a rigid solution could not bring any sustainable change. This is where the diversity of the group came in handy. All of them came from vastly different backgrounds, with a myriad of experiences. Satyam and Ishika hailed from the same city but lived in contrasting localities while Ankit hailed from Sonipat, Haryana and Prachi, New Delhi. The principal problems in all their surroundings were unique and needed to be addressed separately.

About the Millennium Fellow

Ishika Kiran, an undergrad in History and Political Science at University of Delhi, is keen on exploring the depths and grey areas of the world's social landscape. Fluent in English, Hindi and Odia, her works on culture and politics in English have been carried by multiple renowned media outlets.

An Intersectional feminist, she acknowledges that every woman's struggles and conditions are different. Hence, her efforts have been to move away from blanket solutions and be more inclined towards ensuring that the benefits of feminism reach all. She hopes to further her perspective and learn from the ones of her peers.