Teenage sprint sensation Hima Das, who won three medals, including gold in 4x400m women's relay at the Asian Games and a historic gold medal at the U-20 World Championship in Finland, has been appointed India's first ever Youth Ambassador by UNICEF.
"My role model was Sachin Tendulkar as a kid. I feel very proud that I have been able to follow his footsteps and become a UNICEF ambassador like him. I want for every child, regardless of their background, gender, caste etc. to be able to access schools that are safe and supportive so that they can learn and thrive," Hima said.
In her role as a Youth Ambassador, Hima will be working towards raising awareness about the rights and needs of children. She will help amplify the voices of children and young people as active participants in decision making, thus contributing to their holistic development.
"Young people are effective champions for the issues which impact them most. Hima is a young athlete, and she can inspire millions of young people to realise their dreams and aspirations. By appointing her as our first ever Youth Ambassador, we aim to leverage her potential in galvanising children and adolescents to bring about positive change," said Laura Siegrist Fouche, a representative of UNICEF India.
On Wednesday, Hima welcomed the move of her being strictly monitored by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) saying it was a sign of being a good athlete.
Hima has been reportedly included by NADA in their "Registered Testing Pool" high category, under which the 18-year-old will be subjected to frequent In-Competition (IC) as well as Out of Competition (OC) testing.
"Whatever the rules are we have to follow them. I have no problem with it. It is a very common thing for good athletes. It is for the benefit of good athletes," Hima told PTI.
"I don't run after medals. I sprint after the timing. I am focussed on bettering my timing. My current best is 50.79 seconds and every day I am trying to bring it down to 50.78 seconds."
After a successful year which saw her winning several medals and a rapid rise in popularity charts, Hima's only aim is to try and better her personal best as many times as possible.