Major Radhika Sen of Himachal Pradesh earns prestigious UN award : The Tribune India

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Major Radhika Sen of Himachal Pradesh earns prestigious UN award

To be honoured by Guterres for Congo peacekeeping service

Indian peacekeeper Major Radhika Sen, hailing from Himachal, bags UN award



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 28

Major Radhika Sen, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, has won the United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award.

A UN statement said she was working at the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

Major Radhika Sen, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, has won the United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award.

Born in Himachal Pradesh in 1993, Major Radhika Sen joined the Army eight years ago. She graduated as a biotech engineer and was pursuing her post-graduation from IIT Bombay, when she decided to join the armed forces. Major Radhika Sen served in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from March 2023 to April 2024 as the commander of MONUSCO’s engagement platoon. She will receive the award from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a ceremony marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on May 30.

Created in 2016, the “military gender advocate” award recognises the dedication and efforts of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security.

Guterres congratulated Major Sen on her achievement. “Major Sen is a true leader and role model. Her service was a true credit to the United Nations as a whole,” he said. “She earned trust, doing so with humility, compassion and dedication,” he added.

The UN statement quoted Major Sen as saying, “This award is special to me as it gives a recognition to my hard work.” Major Sen led mixed-gender engagement patrols in a volatile environment, where many people, including women and children, were leaving everything behind to flee the conflict.

The “community alert networks” she helped create in North Kivu served as a platform for community leaders, young people and women to voice their security and humanitarian concerns.

Major Sen facilitated English classes for children, and health, gender and vocational training for displaced and marginalised adults. She is the second Indian peacekeeper to receive the prestigious award following in the footsteps of Major Suman Gawani, who was honoured in 2019.

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