Felicitating 17 change makers made a difference in society
Deepak Foundation celebrated International Women’s Day by felicitating 17 changemakers who made a difference in society and inspire others to follow. All of them are honoured for their silents efforts and fighting all odds to bring change in the society.
The theme for the occasion was away from spotlight. The chief guest for the occasion was Padmashri Kumudiniben Lakhia, Dr Bhavna Mehta, head of department, Social work, Deepak Foundation Trustee Ilaben Mehta, Mountaineer Prachi Vaidya and theatre personality Apsara Iyenger.
The ceremony kickstarted with Dhol Tasha performance and Ahmedabad based dance troupe Nirmiti enthralled the audience with their Mahisasur Mardini and Vande Mataram. Director Archana Joshi extended best wishes to all the 250 women participants. Deepak foundation also started the very first Smt Kantaben Mehta memorial award ceremony for change makers.
Everyone receiving the change makers award is unique what they do and try to spread awareness through their work. Premilaben, living in Panchamahudi village, Bhiloda taluka of Aravalli district is one among those women. She is working as an Asha worker since 2007 with commitment for the welfare and upbringing of the village.
Premilaben says, before working as an Asha worker she use to do agricultural work. Since 2007 she has worked selflessly for the welfare and happiness of the society. Initially she had faced many ups and downs as an Asha worker in her village, yet she did not lose hope and continued working as an Asha worker with selfless dedication. She says one should always work as a medicine for the society, when needed and should run to heal the same and get rid of the pain.
Premilaben shares one of her memorable incidents from her village, where a 7 months pregnant Jasmineben had to be hospitalized late night at around 2 am. She ran to help her and took her in a car, first for Shaamalji and then later took her for Bhiloda saved lives of both premature child and mother. She further said that after the incident, Jasmineben and her son Neev who is now one and half years old admires her lot and respects Premilaben next to her mother for saving her and her child’s life. She says, in this way, any family who does not have four -wheeler assistance are provided with same assistance free of cost any time they want. In this way she also plays a role of 108, when there are network issues in the village during emergencies.
Premilaben lives with her parents, three brothers and two sisters in laws in Panchamahudi village. She has studied T.Y.B.A in Gujarati language from Arts College of Shaamalji. She said to never get this respect before, but today her village people as well as family members ask for her advice before taking any societal decisions.
Another woman received the award was Sonalben Vankar, who is working as a Board of Director in MKSP, that is Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana. She is also a Cluster Coordinator in Government’s Mission Mangalam in five villages.
Sonalben is working as a Board of Director in MKSP since last five years. She joined as a CRP member in the year 2015, and currently is one of the Board of Directors. She said that in MKSP around 1100 women from all over villages of Chhotaudeypur are working with them. She further said the MKSP has made various mills such as khichadi mills, where they call these women, gives them training and then provides them with work in order to make them financially independent. They make instant khichadi which is made out of pulses and rice with salt and turmeric, last for 6 months and to cook.
Sonalben also said she is a Cluster Coordinator in Government’s Mission Mangalam, which includes five villages namely Piplaj, Ratanpur, Vaaghiya, Velari and Chametha. Initially before joining Mission Mangalam, she was working with Deepak Foundation since two years. She later went for interview for Mission Mangalam and then started working with the same. She further said in Mission Mangalam, they provide women with training like Sari work, knit work, etc and in that way try to make them independent earners.
They also help women who are not aware or uneducated in taking loans for farmers from bank. She further said that she as part of Mission Mangalam try to gather women in more and more number and make them member of the mandals. Women who are pregnant or feeding mothers and members of the mandals are regularly provided with regular nutritional food important for them.
She also said when she started working with Mission Mangalam, initially mandals were not working properly as required, today her efforts has made the working of five mandals regular and proper.
Sonalben Vankar lives in a joint family with two kids, husband in laws in Naswadi taluka of Chhotaudepur district. She said her family members, especially her husband and mother in law support her a lot for her work. Initially when she started working, it was difficult for her to move even out of the village, today she can roam anywhere for her work, with good confidence and family support. This way she inspires women around by being active for working as independent woman and also trying to raise standard of living of other women by making them independent.