Kohima: US-educated lawyer-turned-social entrepreneur Hekani Jakhalu Kense has received the Nari Shakti Puraskar for 2018 from the President of India. The founder of YouthNet Nagaland is the lone woman from the Northeast to get the highest civilian honour given out every year on International Women’s Day.
Jakhalu is an alumna of Lady Sri Ram College in Delhi, with an LLB from Delhi University and LLM from University of San Francisco, USA. She is also an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education. She also has a wide spectrum of training and experience at the American University in Washington, DC, Amnesty International, US; and the United Nations headquarters in New York, US.
Realising the immense challenges of youth empowerment and unemployment in India’s Northeast region, Jakhalu quit her practice as a lawyer, and founded YouthNet Nagaland with support from a group of like-minded young professionals. Under the global Youth Employment Summit (YES) campaign in Egypt, YouthNet was designated as the YES Nagaland Chapter and made serious commitments to engage youth productively and improve the livelihood of the current and future generations. Since its inception in 2006, YouthNet continues to be one of the premier youth organisations in Northeast India.