Champa Devi, mate
village Dhapda, Panchayat Thana, Block Kareda, District Bhilwara
"I have done BA and B. Ed also. I gave birth to my son barely 15 days before my final exam of BA. I had Drawing as one of my subject. I was best in my class. There was this one boy who was fine, but my drawing was best! I was quite good in mehendi. So, when my husband came to see me for the first time before marriage, I was so excited to show him my whole folder of drawings and mehendi collection. I gave him the whole file, but he just glanced over it once and kept it away. I was disappointed that day and later after marrying and now after 10 years of marriage it has all died. I live alone with my two kids. My husband works as driver in Rajkot, Gujarat. I miss him! I tried for jobs but couldn't find any. NREGA came with a platform to use my education and knowledge. I raise my voice against any wrongdoing, be it laborers or authority. Everyone says 'Champa tu kitna bolti he aur avaaz utaathi he'. They are so happy that I fight for them. Since the laborers do the full work, we can go for dharna at Sarpanch's house if they don't give us the full rate. I understand the value of education even in NREGA and for the laborers working in it. I always encourage the laborers to be aware. At least they should learn to know and ask righteously if the Mate is registering the attendances properly and if correct names are present in the muster roll. To stop corruption, it has to work from both the sides."
Background: A 29 year old homemaker,also an aspiring Sarpanch of her village.
written by Tamalika Bera