Underrated women Leaders in India that you have to Know aboutApr 12, 2019
We are all well aware of women movie stars, politicians and sports players in our country who have inspired a lot of girls around the country. However, there are many more leaders in our country who are barely known to the public. Here are a few women leaders from rural India who will inspire you to make a difference.
Kamala Phujari from Odisha is an agricultural activist who has been responsible for saving native varieties of paddy. This 69-year-old superwoman has saved over 100 traditional varieties of paddy from going extinct and has also saved many native varieties of turmeric, black cumin, sesame, etc.
She has been conferred with the Best Farmer award by the Odisha government and she was offered a position on the Odisha Planning Board. She has also been a crusader for organic farming, water conservation and sustainable living.
Rebelling against unfair wages, Chinna Pillai is an epitome of women empowerment. She was married off at 12 and then she worked like thousands of others on fields of landlords for very meagre incomes. However, what made the difference in her story was that she refused to accept this fate. She voiced out her protests and also spoke for a group of contract workers in her village known as Pullucheri in Madurai. She formed a self-help group called Kalanjiyam that undertook banking activities to help the underprivileged with financial support. She has impacted the lives of hundreds of families till now.
In a highly patriarchal society, Meena Behen is the first sarpanch that her village in Vyara district in Gujarat has seen. This feisty leader attributes her success to the self-help groups that were initiated through World Vision India. Being the sarpanch has given her a lot of access to make lives of other women and families better. Under her leadership, her village has become a much more comfortable place with more medical facilities for pregnant women and children, better roads and a transparent all-women panchayat system.
We live in a society that degrades women who do not give birth to children and makes their lives hell. Thimmakka was also a victim of such shaming which almost made her give up on her life. However, instead of giving in to the problems of life, she found a way to deal with it with positivity. She started planting saplings with her husband and has never looked back. Along with her husband she has planted thousands of trees and the couple have cared for the trees just like how they would care for their children.
A woman cycling to various parts of a state that is considered arid for agriculture and helping hundreds of others to turn their lands fertile is a rare sight. Well, that is Rajkumari Devi for you. She created magic in her own 1-acre farm in Bihar by successfully cultivating paddy, wheat, papayas, mangoes and other fruits. Cultivating these crops on arid grounds made people take notice and seek her advice for their own farms. Slowly, Rajkumari Devi started a non-profit organization named Anandpur Jyoti Centre. Through this organization, she helps to raise local farmer incomes and empower women in the villages by supporting the sale of their produce.
Chaavi Rajawat is a leader who has single-handedly taken up the task of changing the face of rural Rajasthan. This dashing woman has surpassed bureaucracy and ensured that her native village Soda develops into a modern, well-equipped village. She has brought in innovative projects, solar plants, water facilities and banks to her village. She addressed a conference at the United Nations in New York that discussed issues on poverty.