Chandigarh Girl, Jasleen Virk, Made Canadian Envoy for-a-day

Jasleen Virk

18-year-old says: Education is key to achieving gender equality

THE ENERGY, enthusiasm and excitement were hard to miss. After all an 18-year-old Jasleen Virk shouldered the role of Consul General of Canada in Chandigarh for the day.

The Occasion

The occasion was the International Day of the Girl Child (October 11). And the focus was— to discuss, debate and share the values and objectives of the day.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity and a platform to talk about an issue that is so close to my heart. Even in today’s time, we face inequality in so many spheres of life, with girls and women treated as second-rate citizens, a fact that is both disturbing and painful,” said Virk.

Virk is a second-year BA student at Post Graduate Government College for Girls-11. She won the chance to play the role out of six candidates, two each from her college, MCM DAV College for Women and Guru Gobind Singh College for Women.

What Virk Believes

Virk believes education can help young women achieve equality. “It’s about awareness. We need to talk about issues concerning the girl child and women to bring about change. The need of the hour is to stand up for our rights, be fearless, courageous and raise our voice against rape, violence and crimes against women,” she said.

Virk, an aspiring to be a human rights lawyer, will return to college the next day. So will Christopher Gibbins, the real Consul General of Canada, to his post.

Why Virk Chosen

Explaining why the Canadian mission decided to mark International Day of the Girl Child in this way, Gibbons said: “A young woman carrying out the role of the Consul General for the Day is unique to Chandigarh. We strive to include common people so that they can be a part of the efforts being made towards gender equality.”

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