A former student at Richmond, The American International University in London, Vedica Podar has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award.

Vedica has received the 2019 Diana Award in recognition of her outstanding work in championing better education for girls and raising awareness of issues relating to mental health and wellbeing in rural Rajasthan in India.

The Diana Award, which celebrates its 20th anniversary year in 2019, is the only charity set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales and her belief that young people have the power to change the world.  With the support of both sons of Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex, the charity’s mission is to foster, develop and inspire positive change in the lives of young people.

Vedica graduated from Richmond in 2015 with a BA in Business Administration (International Business) and a minor in Psychology with Summa Cum Laude Honours.  Vedica, who is from India and currently based in Mumbai, is returning in September to study a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University’s Richmond Business School in Kensington.

Since 2017, Vedica has worked towards spreading awareness of girls’ education, welfare and mental health along with the local communities in rural Rajasthan through her social causes like ‘Change for Change’.

She engages with the members of the local community and wider audience to donate their spare change towards the cause, which goes towards educating girls. More girls have now enrolled in the education system from the grassroots level thanks to Vedica’s work. In addition to her drive for girls’ education, Vedica has also been working towards other initiatives relating to cleanliness, the environment and tree plantation, the Indian Armed Forces, health and wellness, along with the water crisis in the country.

Vedica said, “I am thrilled to have been given this honour by the Diana Award.  I have always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and empower people, irrespective of their ability, gender, age or ethnicity.  My experience at Richmond both within the classroom and outside it, helped me to broaden my horizons and enhance my world view.  I hope that by studying an MBA at Richmond, it will help provide me with even more inspiration to improve the lives of many people.