From Labourers To Decision-Makers: Inspiring Tales Of 3 Women Sarpanchs

From Labourers To Decision-Makers: Inspiring Tales Of 3 Women Sarpanchs

Having experienced poverty, they know what the poor need, are working for their welfare

SmitaUpdated: Thursday, March 07, 2024, 01:38 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Three women sarpanchs in Madhya Pradesh began their life as manual labourers but are now the decision-makers in their villages. They are barely educated but know the importance of education. And having experienced poverty themselves, they have deep empathy for the poor and know their needs well. They have transformed their panchayats by fulfilling the basic needs of the people - good roads, adequate drinking water, schools, toilets and employment. Here are the profiles of the doughty women who are trying to make life better for their people.

Ram Bai Nayak

Ram Bai Nayak |

‘Pahle majdoori karte the, ab dete hain’

37-year-old Ram Bai Nayak is the first and the youngest women Sarpanch of village panchayat Tanda. Before becoming Sarpanch, she was a farm labourer. She has hardly studied up to grade five. She ensured the construction of two water tanks facilitating individual drinking water supply to each house. She arranged free education for masons children. She was also instrumental in ensuring that over 48 families have access to toilets. She plans to upgrade the middle school to a high school. “I had never thought that a woman labourer like me can become the decision-maker for my village. Pahle majdoori karte the, ab gaon ke logon ko majdoori de rahe hain MGNREGA ke anargart,” she says.

Kala Bai

Kala Bai |

‘Know what poverty means’

Kala Bai (58), the sarpanch of Aredi village Panchayat in the Bhopal district is illiterate. But that didn’t stop her from appreciating the need for a higher secondary school in her village. “After clearing grade 5, our children had to cross a nullah and walk to another village to attend school. So I tried and succeeded in getting a higher secondary school opened here,” said the Sarpanch, who used to break stones to earn a living. Over the past two years, she has got 500 ration, 600 Ayushman and 50 Karmakar cards made for the residents. Her village now boasts of CC roads. “Ab to ghar-ghar tak auto aa jataa hai,” she says. Kala Baai’s priorities are clear. “I have experienced poverty. And so I want to help the poor,” she says.

Kusum Rani

Kusum Rani |

Taps in 800 homes

Kusum Rani (32) is the first SC and the second women Sarpanch of Bamnaud village panchayat in the Damoh district. Kusum, who was a construction worker, is happy that she could solve the perennial drinking water crisis in her panchayat. “I persuaded the villagers to get taps installed at their homes and now 800 homes in my area get piped water supply under the Jal Jeevan Mission.” And concrete-cement roads have replaced the muddy streets in the five hamlets.

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