Sharanya Sekaram — Writer & Activist
Vivacious, passionate, persuasive with the want to make a difference! Having known Sharanya over the years, that’s what I could describe her as. She’s an LLB (Hons) graduate of Staffordshire University and is currently reading for her Masters in Conflict and Peace Studies at the University of Colombo while working as an independent consultant with various projects.
During her years at APIIT as an undergraduate, Sharanya was always part of the student activities and was the first female president of APIIT Toastmasters Club. She lead the club to President’s Distinguished status during her tenure and continues to be passionate about the toastmaster movement.
Her journey and work post-APIIT is one that touches on some core issues in our country — peace building, reconciliation & development, women and equality, and youth.
APIIT opened my horizons both within and outside the classroom. Through my lecturers and final dissertation I was able to discover my passion for activism, and through Toastmasters and SAC I was able to cement my leadership, networking and project management skills.
A writer and activist, her work centralizes in and around peace building and development with a focus on gender and youth through mass media, communication and cross-sector partnerships. If you read the newspapers in Sri Lanka, particularly ‘The Weekend Express’, you’d have seen her contributions to the column ‘The F Word: Let’s Talk Feminism and Gender’. Sharanya contributes in many ways to make a difference and also works with the Department of Gender Studies at the University of Kelaniya developing advocacy reports. She also has worked with Search for Common Ground in Sri Lanka on their projects related to the Parliamentary Women’s Caucus, reconciliation and unity, and youth. She is also the Sri Lanka correspondent for courtingthelaw.com — Pakistan’s first legal news and analysis portal
Sharanya has previously worked as a Project Consultant to International Alert Sri Lanka working on projects related to Urban Development, Women in Politics, Youth’s Civic and Political Participation and Diaspora Engagement. She has also been a media and communications consultant for INASP (UK) supported work in Sri Lanka. Prior to that she was employed at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute under the Ministry of External Affairs as a Research Analyst.
As a Global Shaper, she served as the Deputy Curator of the Colombo Hub (#ColomboShapers) for 2014/2015 and as the Curator for 2015/2016. The Global Shapers Community is an initiative of the World Economic Forum and is a network of city-based Hubs developed and led by young leaders between 20 and 30 years old. Shapers are highly motivated individuals who have a great potential for future leadership roles in society. They are selected on the basis of their achievements, leadership potential, and commitment to make a difference.
She is also a part of various other youth forums and groups having being the representative for ‘Social Activism’ on the United Nations Youth Advisory Panel (UNYAP) Sri Lanka between 2014 and 2016, as well as formerly Exco Member (Team Leader: Public Relations and Media) of Unity Mission Trust — a grassroots youth organization working on reconciliation and unity.
Through her work, she has had the opportunity to connect and participate in many international forums. Speaking to Sharanya on her work where she meets people from different walks of life, she said
“ I was able to step out of my privileged bubble and strip assumptions away before I approach something”.
She can be found on her blog (sharanya-sekaram.blogspot.com), on Twitter @SharaSekaram and Facebook