Earlier this year, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan shot to stardom as Devi Vishwakumar in Mindy Kaling’s Netflix series Never Have I Ever. Now, the 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., is using her platform to bring awareness to girls’ rights and gender equality as Plan International Canada’s newest Global Celebrated Ambassador.
Ramakrishnan told Yahoo Canada her first memory of Plan International Canada is seeing representatives in malls. She was particularly struck by the information she received about child marriage.
“I, as a 10-year-old, was really taken aback because I didn’t realize that was a thing to girls literally the same age as me, at the time,” she said. “I wanted to always learn about these things that are going on in the world, outside of just what I would know as a 10-year-old, and see what’s happening to other people.”
Ramakrishnan is very open about the fact that her relatively newly-developed public image and booming social media presence will help bring awareness to women and girls issues globally.
“I have a lot of friends that, if they had the platform that I have, they would be just as vocal,” she said. “It is a privilege to have such a huge following…so with that privilege comes responsibility.”