Tribal Oriya girl meets G8 leaders in Italy

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L'aquila, July 9 (ANI): A 16 year old tribal girl from Orissa's Koraput district rubbed shoulders with world leaders at the Junior Eight summit in Italy.

Sanjukta Pangi is representing India in the J8 (Junior 8) international youth summit, which is currently being held in Italy along with the G8 conclave.

Hailing from a small tribal community of Orissa, blushing Pangi don't even know the names of the leaders she had met in Italy's town of L'aquila, the venue of G8 summit.

"I don't know the names, but I think met African, especially Indian leader and I think American and Mexican leaders," she said.

She said that she will take back the fond memories of her interaction with the kids of Junior 8 countries and will always remember her meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"Our Prime Minister is very understanding I really like his style when I told him that I belong to a tribal family he got very happy and introduced me to other leaders, I proud of my Prime Minister," Sanjukta said.

Pangi is daughter of a small time farmer and was selected to represent India at J8 through a programme conducted by the UNICEF. She wants to become collector of her district, but poverty is the main stumbling block in her education.

Sanjukta said: " I want to give Civil services examinations, but we don't have money, government should provide assistance for further studies so that I become collector of Koraput and work for the betterment of tribals."

At the international submit, the young tribal girl actively participated on issue of climate change with 56 youth representatives from G8 countries. Samuel Venkatesen, 17-year-old boy from Tamil Nadu and Narendra Kumar, 15-year-old boy from Rae Bareli also represented India at J-8. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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