Poorva Patil: Manipal’s brush with the UN
The month of May was a significant one for Poorvaprabha Patil, a student at the Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Manipal as she was selected to attend the 2nd Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovation for Sustainable Development Goals (STI for SDGs) at the UN Head Quarters in New York.
It was a two-day meet (15-16th May) full of panel discussions along with several side events and talks. She got to make an intervention on STI capacity building for SDGs. The meet engaged members of the UN and other institutions for a dialogue on implementation and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The four other medicos at the meet were from the US, Brazil, Egypt and Canada.
Although it has been over a month since Poorva attended the meet, this experience is going to stay fresh with the youngest medical delegate from the Asia Pacific region. She firmly believes that her versatile experiences in life including her work with the weaker sections of the society, self-initiated projects as well as the knowledge of national laws and youth advocacy had led her to this.
“I was truly honoured and extremely elated at first but I also realised the magnitude of responsibility that came along with such an opportunity. Being a part of the major group for children and youth was full of pride and honour as much as it was a learning opportunity. I got to learn a lot about how governments and organisations from other countries are working and what we can inculcate in our system. We brainstormed on how we can bring about change on a greater scale with better impact. I also made friends that I’m surely going to cherish for the rest of my existence”, Poorva exclaimed.
Though medicine was always her first preference, Poorva didn’t plan to pursue her further education in India but eventually stayed back. “When I searched for the best medical schools in India, I came across Manipal and once I read up more about it, the kind of co-curricular activities it has hosted, I knew it was where I wanted to be,” she added.
Within her short span at the University, the second-semester student has engaged herself in a wide range of activities with the organisations here. A research intern with the Student Research Forum at Manipal, she is also an active member of organisations like Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Red-X, Cutting Edge and MTTN. Apart from being a campus ambassador for Wikipedia, Poorva also serves as a member of the Indo-German Convention of Lindau Alumni working committee, Scientia Medicina, Indo-German Metabolic Meet (IGMM), Manipal and is a part of KMC’s student council. She also enjoys learning surgical and medical advancements whenever she can.
Back in her hometown Ratnagiri, she is a member of Community Service, Jyoti Eye Care, a volunteer at Wildlife Survivors, an NGO working for protection and conservation of wildlife. Being a core volunteer at the NGO, her efforts have resulted in rescuing and nursing animals before they are released into the wild.
The path to success has not been an easy one for Poorva who describes her childhood as turbulent. Brought up by a single mother, who is her role model, Poorva had a terrible time adjusting to her convent school at Ratnagiri as she was branded notorious and outspoken. Despite being thrown out of school in class 7 and having to be homeschooled for a year, she excelled academically. Things took a turn for the better when she was put into a boarding school in Kolhapur.
Speaking about her hobbies Poorva said, “I’d rather die than to live a life with no travel. Travelling is how I learned to grow out of difficulties.” While being homeschooled, she learnt Photoshop and 2d animation to vent out her thoughts and this helped her explore her skills as a graphic designer.
She hopes to put to good use her experience at the UN meet. Women empowerment and sexual harassment, youth advocacy, sustainable development, wildlife protection and conservation and healthcare for all are some of the areas she wants to devote her focus to in the coming years.
Featured image: Google images.
Edited by Shivani Singh