A 34-year-old specially-abled woman, Kavita Bhondwe, did not let her physical disability to stop her from serving the people of two villages – Dahegan and Waglud in Dindori Taluka of Maharashtra’s Nashik district. During her 9-year tenure as Sarpanch, she contributed to bettering the lives of local residents by connecting villages with roads, drinking water supply, and houses for the poor. Also Read: Kerala transwoman is harassed by other vendors for selling biryani, the Internet comes in support
Bhondwe, who elected as the Sarpanch at the age of 25, is currently serving her second term. Succeeding as Sarpanch was a personal challenge for her as she has to overcome societal prejudices against her and her disability.
Speaking to ANI, Bhondwe told, “Since she was physically challenged, people use to make fun of her. They said if she can’t take care of herself how would she be able to take care of the village. She was not paying attention to them. Her family always supported her. Her brother and father used to drop her at the office and pick her up. Many did not like the fact that she became Sarpanch at the young age of 25 years.” Also Read: Meerut woman who ran away from home under marriage pressure to study and now became a PCS officer after 7 Years
In the last nine years, Bhondwe brought significant changes in people’s lives in villages and Gram Panchayats’ affairs and stood up against illegal practices in the region. She gives credit to her father for encouraging her to contest the polls to contest the election. Bhondwe’s father Pundalik Bhondwe has been a Gram Panchayat member for 15 years. But later, due to lack of education, he started facing difficulties. So, he advised Kavita to contest the election in 2011.
However, Kavita Bhondwe, who had never been associated with the Gram Panchayat before, was unanimously elected as Sarpanch. She also established women’s self-help groups in both the villages. Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, she was instrumental in the construction of concrete roads, houses in the villages. She also worked for creating awareness among girls for education. Also Read: Meet Princy Gogoi, born without hands, a woman with the strongest feet
“After Bhondwe became Sarpanch, we got concrete roads. Toilets have been built in villages. She always takes the initiative of doing the development work in our village,” a local said.
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