UAE student named goodwill ambassador for Mission Million 2020

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent) 

Filed on October 11, 2019

uae student, mission million 2020, goodwill ambassador

She has been working with kids and under-privileged families in India for over four years.

A Dubai-based school student has been named the goodwill ambassador for the prestigious Mission Million 2020 by the Women Economic Forum.

Making her school, family and community proud, Tamanna Ishaq, a 17-year-old student of Year 13 at the GEMS Founders School in Dubai, will join a panel of writers, politicians, scientists and artists during the Women Economic Forum session in Dubai, set to take place in 2019 and 2020. “The Women Economic Forum organises sessions in 162 countries,” explained Tamanna, who rose to prominence after her work with underprivileged communities in her home state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

She has been working with kids and under-privileged families in India for over four years. After distributing food to people in slum areas in Aligarh district in Uttar Pradesh, Tamanna launched a youth-run initiative called ‘Serve the People’ that feeds nearly 400 hungry people every day.

“I go to India at least thrice a year with my mother to check out the progress of the initiative. When I am not there, my cousins continue the distribution,” she told Khaleej Times. The group distributes apples, biscuits and a rice and lentil gruel to the hungry in slums in Aligarh’s railway area and Jeevangarh.

“We collect donations from the community to raise funds for the distribution. I want the initiative to grow bigger and to start adding clothes to the donations,” she added.

Tamanna also does substantial work in women’s education and sanitation. She distributes sanitary napkins to girl children and also helps curb child marriages. “I spoke to some girls who were set-up for child marriage. That’s when I realised it doesn’t take much to educate these girls. Since then, I’ve been spending my pocket-money on educating one girl child,” she added.

Tamanna said she was inspired into the world of community welfare after her mother. “My mum used to give blankets to the poor, and I was inspired by her care and concern for people,” she added.

Rashid Ishaq, Tamanna’s father, a professional in the oil and gas industry, said: “She plans on pursuing higher education in nuclear engineering. She’s looking at universities in the UK, US and Canada. She has always been on the brighter side.”

Written by: Dhanusha Gokulan at

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88