Sri Lankan activist, academic, and adventurer Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala took on another role this year as she was a Batonbearer during the Sri Lankan leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay.
Jayanthi has dedicated part of her life to studying and learning; her credentials include post graduate diploma in women's studies and a Master of Arts degree in gender studies. Using this knowledge, she has become an activist and an ambassador for Women’s Rights across several projects, helping and inspiring women and girls. Along with two colleagues, Jayanthi co-created Delete-Nothing, an online platform which aims to document instances of technology-related violence, against, but not limited to, girls, women, and queer and trans people in Sri Lanka. The program focuses on the importance of keeping records of violent acts, to be able to take further action.
Making history in 2016, Jayanthi was the first Sri Lankan to summit Mount Everest. Her huge achievement also meant Sri Lanka was only the fourth country in the world from where a woman has accomplished this before a man.
Reaching this peak gave Jayanthi a greater platform to amplify her feminist voice across Sri Lanka and the rest of the world.
As well as taking on the monumental Mount Everest, Jayanthi has also successfully tackled Mount Kilimanjaro and the Pyrenees, amongst others, exploring the mountains and her passion for rock-climbing.