HYDERABAD: Thursday was probably the best day of Karronya Katrynn’s life. The 19-year-old from Hyderabad was on cloud nine as she served as the British Deputy High Commissioner for a day. From interacting with top officials and policy-makers to voicing her concerns about climate change and gender-based violence, the Bachelor of Arts student from St. Ann’s College had a busy day planned for her.
“At first, I was intimidated. I didn’t know if I would be able to pull through. But, with the support and guidance of Andrew sir (Andrew Fleming, the Deputy High Commissioner of UK to TS and AP) and his team, I could speak my mind and share my thoughts with the people who are at the helm of affairs,” said Karronya, who is trained in seven dance forms, is an actor and a recipient of two Nandi Awards.
The British High Commission had held a nationwide contest, wherein it invited video entries from the youth who wanted to take on the role of the British High and Deputy High Commissioners for a day. Karronya was the regional winner from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The theme for this year’s contest was climate change, and the teen, who has been going all out to spread the word on leading an eco-friendly existence, spoke about the need to rope in youth to make a difference on this front. “It is the future of the youngsters, which is at stake. Empower, recognise and reward their contributions. This is the way to motivate them to help make the planet greener,” she said in her video entry for the contest.
Fulfilling Andrew’s roles and responsibilities for the day, Karronya met Mayor Vijayalaxmi Gadwal and a few women corporators. She interacted with them on the issues of violence against women and cyber safety. They also discussed policies to reduce crimes against women. The teen interacted with Rashmi Pimpale, CEO of the Research and Innovation Circle-Hyderabad, and the authorities of L&T too.
“It was extremely motivating to speak with the women loco pilots of the Hyderabad Metro Rail. A concern which I have had for long is, despite having such an efficient Metro service, why isn’t everyone using it? The authorities told me that this was because of the fear of contracting Covid, but they have been ensuring that all safety protocol is followed. It is only if people use public transport, will pollution levels reduce,” she told CE during an informal interaction at Andrew’s residence.
Meanwhile, Andrew looked rested. “I got a chance to take some rest (laughs). I look forward to this day the most every year. We’ve been doing this for five years now. It’s wonderful to see young people like Karronya grasp such an opportunity and learn from it. Karronya is a feisty young woman. She had quite an animated discussion with the Mayor and asked some intelligent questions,” he said.
While Karronya continues to bask in this experience of leading a diplomat’s life for a day, her mother has been pushing her to sit for the Civils and pursue law. And, Andrew agrees! “I love being an actor and dancer. I am a creative person. But I also like being a part of policy and doing my bit to make a difference. So, my mother and I have a gentleman’s agreement about this: she lets me dance and act in lieu of me pursuing my studies,” concluded Karronya, who power-dressed in a red blazer which made her look like she meant business.