Few days ago, when I opened the newspaper, I saw a girl’s photograph and I said to myself, lo here is another model or bollywood wanna-be. I was about to turn the page but before doing that I glanced at the heading. This girl was Chhavi Rajawat at a UN Conference. Models or Bollywood actresses hardly attend UN conferences.
Chhavi Rajawat pleasantly surprised the other delegates at the 11th Info-Poverty World Conference held at the UN. The two-day panel discussion was held at the UN held on March 24 and 25, 2011. People could hardly believe that Chhavi Rajawat is the village surpanch of Soda village, Rajasthan.
Chhavi Rajawat has studied at Rishi Valley, Bangalore and Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, Going by norms, she should be at the helm of some multinational company or owning her own export business or working at some high-profile media house. People hardly expect a LSR student to be a village surpanch. But Chhavi Rajawat is an exception.
I am always fascinated by people and their behavior. I don’t know why I have not studied Psychology. I always like to read and know about people who behave differently. Knowing about those people who swim against the tide always give me happiness and hope. I love people who flout so called “norms” and do something different. Chhavi Rajawat is one of them. She don’t believe in right looks of a mahila sarpanch. She attends all the village panchyat meeting in her jeans. Not like some high profile politicians who wears designer wear among their own and always put a sham among villagers by wearing cotton sarees.
Chhavi Rajawat said at UN meet, “If India continues to make progress at the same pace as it has for the past 65 years since Independence, it just won’t be good enough. We will be failing people who dream of having water, electricity, toilets, schools and jobs. I am convinced we can do it differently and do it faster,” Chhavi Rajawat is the only female surpanch of a village who possesses an MBA degree.
Chhavi Rajawat said at the UN Meet, “In the past year alone in Soda, the villagers and I have brought about a radical change in the village purely through our own efforts. We have no outside support no NGO help, no public or private sector help.”
Chhavi Rajawat added later, “In three years, I will transform my village. I don’t want money. I want people and organisations to adopt projects in my village as often projects fail owing to lack of a local connect and that is what I am here to provide a bridge in that gap.” Amen to that.
Image Source: Dainik Jagran