| Bangkok, Thailand | 7 Dec 2015 | Asia Samachar |
At 14:00 hours on 20 Nov 2015, the town hall at Taylor’s University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was packed with youth leaders from the Southeast Asia as colorful costumes lit up the sober room.
It was full of excitement as some 500 young ambassadors from Southeast Asia awaited for the arrival of United States President Barack Obama.
ChaetanSaheb Singh Sethi, a Sikh youth from Thailand, was one of the young ambassadors from Southeast Asia that had the opportunity to attend the session.
Also known by his Thai name of Aekarak Sethi, he was among chosen young delegates from the 10 countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Other than attending the entire address to the youth delegation by Obama, he also had the opportunity to shake hands with some of the world’s most powerful person.
“We exchanged friendly winks and there were wide smiles all around,” he tells Asia Samachar in an email.
ChaetanSaheb took part in the Young South East Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Summit in Kuala Lumpur.
Spotting a neatly coiffed beard and achic vivid maroon turban, he was proud to represent not just his fellow compatriot Thais but also illustrated the presence of Sikhs and their contribution in the region.
“It is by His Grace and under my parents’ able guidance that I am able to achieve what I have so far. I thank God and my family for all the love and support,” he said.
Launched in 2013, YSEALI is President Obama’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia.
Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an Asean community, according to information available on its website.
At this programme, ChaetanSaheb played an active role and spearheaded the Information Campaign group activity providing strategy and creating the video presentation on economic development.
He also actively participated in leadership seminars and interacted with leaders from various corporations, including Coca-Cola and Accenture.
The event was held at Hilton and Le Meridien, Kuala Lumpur and was fully sponsored by the US State Department.
ChaetanSaheb said he had been awarded several other scholarships earlier.
Currently, he is in Cambodia as a youth representative for the 1st World Heritage Youth Forum in Asia, a programme conducted by UNESCO in conjunction with the World Heritage Committee.
“With diverse learning experiences and following the teachings and principles set forth by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, I believe that I have a lot more to do and this is only the beginning of my humble journey,” he said.
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