A 21-year-old Indian politician and college student has officially become the youngest mayor in India’s history on Dec. 28.
Arya Rajendran won 54 votes out of the 100-member Council in December and is now the mayor of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, a city and the capital of Kerala, India, according to The Hindu.
Rajendran is a member of the Councilor of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), an alliance of left-wing political parties, which includes the Communist Party of India (Marxist). She will succeed former mayor and CPI(M) member, K Sreekumar.
“Democracy is not about one person leading alone, it’s about deciding collectively and getting decisions implemented. The party has ushered in a new era with this decision and by fielding so many young candidates, including young women candidates,” she told NDTV.
As the daughter of CPI(M) activists K Rajendran and Sreelatha, Rajendran has been exposed and associated with the party at the young age of 5. She also became the State President for Balasangham, the CPI(M)’s children’s wing, and a state committee member for the Students Federation of India, the party’s student wing.
“My family fully supported me and are extremely happy. I will not stop my studies. I will continue it. I also want to pursue my higher studies in Public Administration,” she added.
One of Rajendran’s top priorities as mayor is to tackle waste management problems in the city.
“Our city is beautiful. To keep it like this, it should be free of waste,” she said. “Besides a scientific waste management system, a thorough awareness is needed among people not to dump waste on the waysides.”
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