London royalty honours 18-year-old pink rickshaw driver with women's empowerment award

The Prince's Trust Women's Empowerment Award holds special significance as it recognises the remarkable achievements of young women on a global scale, celebrating their resilience in overcoming challenges and creating a lasting impact within their communities.

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Arti, an 18-year-old rickshaw driver from a village in Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich district, expressed her pride as she received the prestigious Amal Clooney Women's Empowerment Award at the Prince's Trust Awards in London. The award, named after the renowned human rights barrister Amal Clooney, recognized Arti for her impactful contribution to inspiring young girls through her involvement in the government's Pink E-rickshaw initiative. This initiative aims to provide safe transport for women, driving tangible change in their communities.

A Proud Moment for Arti

"My daughter will be proud of me when she grows up," remarked Arti, reflecting on the significance of the award. She spoke passionately about the empowerment she felt through her work, stating, "I take pride in being able to inspire other girls who face similar challenges. This newfound independence has allowed me to see the world in a different light. Now, I am able to fulfil not only my dreams but also those of my daughter."

Encounters with Royalty

Arti also shared her awe-inspiring experience of meeting King Charles III during an event at Buckingham Palace. She described the encounter as "unbelievably amazing," highlighting the king's warmth and interest in her work. "He was so nice and sent his namaste to my family back home too. He also listened carefully as I spoke about how much I love driving my e-rickshaw," Arti added, emphasising the environmental benefits of her electric vehicle that she charges at home nightly.

Transformation of the Prince's Trust International

The Prince's Trust International, originally founded by King Charles when he was the Prince of Wales, is set to transform into the King's Trust International. This non-profit organisation plays a vital role in supporting young people across 20 countries through various programs focused on employment, education, and enterprise.

Recognition from Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney, the esteemed British activist-barrister, commended Arti's remarkable achievements. She praised Arti's trailblazing efforts in a predominantly male-dominated field, noting how Arti's work contributes to enhancing safety for women in her community. "Arti is determined to create a world where her daughter will not face the obstacles that she has faced, and she is already making a difference through her example," remarked Clooney, underscoring the impact of Arti's dedication and resilience.