Vasundhara Choudhary, a 21 year old student, studying Psychology Honours in Gargi College, has recently been elected the Sarpanch of her ancestral village Lilawali, in Rajasthan. Her feat is indeed extraordinary; she being the first woman Sarpanch of Lilawali, and second woman to hold the office in Rajasthan, after Chhavi Rajawat, a management graduate who was elected as the Sarpanch of Soda village in Tonk, Rajasthan.
The realisation that she wanted to change the lives of her people came over time. Vasundhara, who lives in Delhi, used to visit Lilawali during her holidays. It was during these visits that she became conscious of the problems faced by her people. The urban-rural divide was stark. While she enjoyed a comfortable life in the national capital, people in Lilawali lived lives untouched by education, sanitation facilities, technology and connectivity.
Lilawali lamented the lack of development. Vasundhara knew that to effectively implement her plans for change, she would have to work within the system, and not from outside of it. When the Panch and Sarpanch elections were announced, she decided to contest.
The elections began on January 16, 2015. The voter turnout was around 70%. Unchallenged, Vasundhara won the elections. She has been allotted a working team of 13 women members. Today, her vision is clear. Her priority is to bring women to the forefront. She wants higher education and employment opportunities to touch the lives of Lilawali women. One can expect her agendas to be largely women-centric.
Vasundhara has mighty aspirations. She wants to pursue her masters from Delhi University. Yet, she is unfazed by the responsibilities that beckon her back home. “I’m going to balance my academic aspirations with my duties towards Lilawali. I will make sure that I go down there every fortnight to ensure that work is being carried out as per directions. I have full faith in my team. Together, we will ensure progress in Lilawali,” she said. We wish her all the luck for her future endeavors!
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