Saniya was already a second year law student when she joined BMKF scholars. But that’s just for starters. This young dynamo is also a board director for Women LEAD Nepal, an NGO that provides intensive leadership training for women high school students in Nepal; an intern for Putali Nepal, a NGO that provides menstrual cups and education for women and girls; and a Rising Star through Wedu, a leadership development organization that mentors young women in Asia.
From facilitating a national conference for adolescents on International Day of the Girl Child, to volunteering with disabled students, to performing in the Vagina Monologues, Saniya leads by example. Through Women LEAD, she has helped over 100 young women to realize their potential, and challenged them to commit to investing in Nepal’s future.
Saniya grew up in Kathmandu. Her father passed away nine years ago. Her mother works as a market representative at a co-operative, where she collects and manages the daily savings for the vendors. When she finished high school, Saniya thought she too would pursue a career in accounting. She soon realized it wasn’t the right fit.
“I joined law after much analysis,” Saniya explained in her scholarship application. “To be honest, I catch onto things quickly. This is my strength and was also my greatest weakness, because I didn’t study. But now I’ve found the area in which I love to work, and I’ve stuck to my plan to study hard and score well. I want to make my mother proud of me, and I want to be proud of myself as well.”
Law student Saniya Giri and her classmate at a mock trial.
Inspiration: “My mother inspires me to pursue more and more. She is such a hardworking person. My best friend is also my inspiration. Sujuta is no more. She was a passionate, dedicated person who lived with the saying, “Spread love, smile, and never give up.” She gave 100% percent in whatever she did. At a young age, she worked hard to serve people. She gave books and bags to 20 school children by collecting funds after the 2015 earthquake. She taught me to love life and cherish the time we have. Her commitment to society inspires me.”
Career goal: “I want to be a good lawyer. Moreover, I want to be an advocate who helps people in the community. I’ve given many trainings to youth in different localities, and I would like to do more in other communities. I say ‘youth,’ because to develop a country both men and women have to contribute equally. I want to share my increased knowledge and help both men and women (prioritizing women) learn more about specific topics such as reproductive rights, or provisions related to citizenship. I will help people solve problems in a legal way.”
Favorite class: “It depends on content. Currently, Jurisprudence and International Relations & Diplomacy are two classes that have a lot of exciting information about different laws, cases, wars, history, etc.”
BMKF scholar Saniya Giri inspires other young women to be leaders.