Published: 07th March 2018
19-year-old Hyderabad girl selected to visit US for women's leadership programme
Hasna Hasan is going to the US for a five-week programme for a programme that will be funded by the US Department of State
A second-year student of Mass Communication from St Mary's College, Yousufguda,
Hasna Hasan was recently selected to be a part of the Study of United States Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders’ programme on ‘Women's Leadership’. And though she is over the moon about this, she feels that it is her parents who are more excited than her. "In fact, my mother is coming down from Oman this week and we might start shopping for it soon," says an excited 19-year-old, who will be visiting the US in June. And why wouldn't they be? After all, only 20 undergraduate students are chosen every year to be a part of this five-week programme, which will enable students to understand the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave better, and also develop their leadership skills. Suddenly, we find ourselves excited for Hasna too!
While the nominations for the programme were sent out by the college, the selections were made by the US Consulate General. The programme is fully-funded by the US Department of State
Born in Kerala, brought up in Oman and now in Hyderabad, Hasna has always been passionate about the cause of women. We ask her the definition of leadership and she says, "Leadership is empowering the local society," which is where her efforts have been directed in the past few years. She has been part of the Hyderabad Youth Assembly and has visited nearby villages and taught women to make bangles, necklaces and other ornaments so that they can be self-sustainable. "We even taught them about consumer rights, pricing system, how to sell in wholesale and so much more," informs Hasna. She also taught dropouts English as a part of Amoomat Society, an NGO, and was given the chance to participate in the Women's Summit at Delhi and was even the social media coordinator for the event. Phew, that's quite the list!
Leading lady: Hasna is currently studying in Hyderabad
Hasna, who is inspired by the likes of Michelle Obama and Kiran Bedi, through the programme, wants to get an idea of how to be a better leader and implement things effectively to root out problems. Talking about problems, Hasna feels that some of the issues plaguing our country are the education crisis and lack of women empowerment, "both of which need to be addressed right at the grassroots level," she opines. For example, "it is because of her family that a woman sacrifices her career. How does one tackle this?" she wonders, stating that she is a feminist and believes in its core principles of equal pay for equal work.
Students will have the chance to engage in educational and cultural activities outside the classroom. Seminar, discussions, reading, group presentations and lectures will be on the agenda during the programme
And the way Hasna wants to serve the society is at the bureaucratic level, for which she is undertaking coaching classes to join the Civil Services, but eventually, she wants to be a journalist. "Bringing out the truth to the world is something I aspire to do," says Hasna, who is currently enjoying Hyderabad. She loves the culture of ghazals and shayaris here, and the "overall Sufi-like atmosphere. Also, Hyderabad is the best place for food," she says, cheekily.