20-year-old Shrishti Goswami from Haridwar is a one-day chief minister of Uttarakhand, marking the national girl child day on 24 January, in a rare instance of real life copying a movie ― Nayak, featuring Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Amrish Puri and Paresh Rawal.
Goswami, while symbolically holding the position of the state’s head for one day, will review various ongoing government-run development programmes. For the first time in the history of Uttarakhand, a girl will become the state’s chief minister, even if it is symbolic and just for a day.
Goswami, a student of BSc agriculture at a Roorkee-based institution, was chosen for the honour after she was elected chief minister in a mock ‘Bal Vidhan Sabha’ (Children’s State Assembly) in a symbolic event organised by the state commission, in the year 2018, for protection of child rights and to help the children understand the democratic system.
A resident of Daulatpur village, Goswami’s symbolic ascension to the chief minister’s post for a day on 24 January, has received a nod from the incumbent chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
“I wholeheartedly thank chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat for allowing me to become chief minister of Uttarakhand for one day. On January 24, the National Girl Child Day, officials from various departments will make five-minute-long presentations before me. I will give them suggestions, particularly on the issues related to girl-child safety,” said Goswami.
Goswami idolises Mother Teresa and Haridwar-based team India hockey player Vandana Kataria. She said she would want to give her inputs to the government on the agriculture sector, which supports the livelihood of more than 65% of the state’s population.
Usha Negi, chairperson of the child rights body said, “Goswami, who participated in the children’s assembly, was elected its chief minister by members of the mock House for three years. Hence, to mark the occasion of girl child day on 24 January, she will hold the real chief minister’s office for one day.”
Negi said that during the day, a three-hour session of a mock children assembly will also be held in the state assembly in Dehradun.
“It will be held from 12 noon till 3 pm, during which, officials of at least 12 departments including PWD, education, women and child development, tourism and others will give a presentation before Goswami, who will also review the various development programmes of the state,” she said.
Both Goswami and her parents– father Pravin Goswami, a trader and mother Sudha Goswami, a housewife– have expressed happiness and gratitude on the honour and said it will send the message that girls are no less than boys and can achieve anything they want.
“We are extremely proud of our daughter’s achievement. It will send a message to all the parents to never hold back their daughters and support them fully to pursue their dreams,” her parents said.
Darshan Singh Rawat, the media coordinator of chief minister Rawat, said, “The move will inspire the girls of the state and the country to dream big and never feel inferior to boys. They are equal to boys and can achieve their dreams with hard work and determination.”