Jaipur: Setting aside her personal comfort, this woman sarpanch in Rajasthan is working on a mission to empower girls by helping them excel in studies and sports for which she generously donates her salary.
Ever since Neeu Yadav became a sarpanch in October 2020, she has been donating her salary for the cause of the girl child and building schools and playgrounds. She has been going door to door and spreading awareness among girls to become skilled and employed.
Says Gautam from her village, "We were surprised to see this village sarpanch going door to door in search of talent in sports. She not only counselled these girl students but also ensured that she forms a great hockey team."
When asked, Neeru said, "I come from Haryana and have seen girls playing different sports from a very young age. Hence, I want girls in Rajasthan also to make a mark and excel."
Recently, she got hockey kits for this girl team by donating her salary of two years, arranged a private vehicle to ferry them to a sports ground which was a little far and also deputed a private coach for their training."
The result was amazing. These girls who never came out of their village outshone their competitors from surrounding villages and played at district level for the first time. Now they aspire to play at state and national level too.
Another villager, Sanjay Kumar said, "We have seen Neeru standing under the scorching Sun while watching roads being built to school. If she saw any issue, she was the first one to fight with officials concerned."
Speaking to the media, Neeru said, "Sarpanch is the only post which transfers the benefits of the central government or the state government schemes directly to the public. I am simply trying to justify my position. It is very important for a sarpanch to get the benefits of the government's schemes to the public to make an impact at the grassroots."
She further said, "Women need to become a change agent to change society. In the last few years, we have seen transformation coming in society. Now women and men are working shoulder to shoulder. In village too, we need to spread awareness and do away with the social taboos like gender discrimination and dowry.
Girl education in this direction works wonders and hence am emphasising on the fact that each daughter of my village goes to school. When there was no road, I ensured the road was built so that none of our daughters face challenges during rainfall," she added.
Neeru has also been awarded by the education department of the state government for her support in developing government school building and other infrastructure.
"Right now, my aim is to take my village girls to the national scout and guide jamboree to give them national exposure and hence me and the villagers as a team are working together," she said.
Neeru herself is B.sc, M.sc, B.Ed, M.Ed and is pursuing PhD.
"Education makes a lot of difference in how a person thinks. An educated person brings a positive difference everywhere. Hence am encouraging girls to excel either in study or sports to make a mark for themselves, she added.