There was disbelief among ministers and ambassadors when the chairperson of the 11th Info-Poverty World Conference at the United Nations introduced the jeans-clad Chhavi Rajawat as head of a village in India.
For, from a distance one could easily mistake Rajawat, an articulate, computer-savvy woman, for a model or a Bollywood actress. But she is the sarpanch of Soda village, 60km from Jaipur.
Rajawat, 30, India's youngest and only MBA to be a village head, quit her senior management position with Bharti-Tele Ventures of Airtel Group to serve her beloved villagers as sarpanch.
Rajawat participated in a panel discussion on March 24 and 25 on how civil society can implement its actions.
On achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Rajawat said she sought full support from outside agencies and the corporate world.
"I thank United Nations office for Partnerships (UNOP) which had deputed its senior adviser in India Mr Babu Lal Jain to visit Soda and extend all support in the opening of the first bank in the village. That made all the difference."
"It is necessary to re-think through various strategies of action that includes new technologies like e-services in achieving MDGs in an era where resources have become limited, she told the delegates of the international conference.
"If India continues to make progress at the same pace as it has for the past 65 years since Independence, it just won't be good enough," she told delegates at the conference.
"We'll be failing people who dream about having water, electricity, toilets, schools and jobs. I am convinced we can do it differently and do it faster," she said.
"In three years I will transform my village. I don't want money. I want people and organisations to adopt projects in my village as often projects fail owing to lack of a local connect and that is what I am here to provide by bridging that gap."
"I want the conference to help bring about faster change so that this generation can enjoy that kind of life that I and you in this audience take for granted."