“SARPANCH” A word that just ticks three boxes in your head every time you hear it
-Moustache and Turban
You know it basically means Patriarchy. But thanks to the evolving world that we live in, the word sarpanch now has an image of a strong, visionary and empowered woman who takes a pledge to start from home and be the change she wants to see. Let’s take a look at three such women who’re changing and challenging widely held patriarchal notions.
We all want a golden MBA degree and stellar highly paying jobs for corporations like Times of India, Carlson Group of Hotels, and Airtel. Well, Chaavi has done it all, despite choosing to work in an Air conditioned office and lead a luxurious life, she chose to dedicate her life, to the place that gave her life, her village in Rajasthan called Soda to bring about basic and substantial changes in the conditions there.Chaavi is India’s first woman Sarpanch with an MBA degree.
She’s broken every stereotype heads on, Chavvi did not belong to any political party and she single-handedly undertook various projects like better water facilities, solar power, paved roads, toilets and a bank to her ancestral village.She also addressed the recurring issue of Poverty at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.She is now also the face of the Levis campaign #Ishapemyworld.
A 31-year-old MBA graduate has become a role model for many women in the field of politics.Leaving her highbrow job as an investment banker she chooses to serve the Dhunkapada gram panchayat in Ganjam district. She personifies grit and determination.
The past 5 years have been revolutionary as the amount of hard work and dedication Aarti puts has changed the fate of her village for good.
She built pucca roads, electricity connections to several villages, streamlined PDS system, made sure all schools have teachers, women attending Palli sabhas, planted over 1.5 lakh trees in her panchayat and revived folk art troupes in her gram panchayat. 700 women are now able to read basic and also sign and so no need to use their thumbs which shows the level of literacy. If that’s not women power, then we don’t know what is.
After completing her Masters in Political Science from Texas and before taking a job, Bhakti decided to visit her father in her village of Barkhedi Abdulla on the outskirts of Bhopal.
This visit changed everything, it was an eye opener as it was then that she decided she wanted to serve the society and to pursue full-time social work, in November 2014, she decided to stand for the elections and was elected the sarpanch of Barkhedi, not by making promises but by understanding what the villagers needed the most.
Demonetisation came into effect during her time of sarpanch, but it did not have adverse effects as every household in that village had ration cards and bank accounts which she made sure at the start of her tenure.Be its medical facilities, housing scheme or education facilities and she is striving hard to make the both ends meet. She believes in living in a healthy environment and so from 9 toilets, she built about 500. She believes that a lot can be learnt from a rural life and thus is promoting Rural Tourism.
“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” —G.D. Anderson