This Village Pradhan Champions The Cause Of Women’s Dignity, Hygiene

By Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Pratima Devi is leading the way help young women in India live happy and healthy lives.

Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Gram pradhan Pratima Devi, 28, represents woman power, quite literally. An ordinary woman of Ramchadrapur village in Mirzapur till a few years ago, Pratima decided to contest the pradhan election only to ensure construction of toilets and bathrooms for the girls of her village.

Her agenda got the thumbs up from teenage girls and women of the village who were struggling for their dignity and privacy daily. And it was woman power that made her win the election.

“Girls of the village would often lament the lack of toilets and the problems they had to face daily. Things worsened for them during menstruation. One day, while discussing the problems faced by girls I said that if I were the pradhan of the village, I would certainly do something. The girls supported me at once. That’s when I decided to fight the gram pradhan elections in 2015,” says Pratima Devi. In December 2015, she was elected to a five-year term to the post reserved for women.

The girls of the village had been learning the importance of menstrual hygiene in sessions hosted as part of the GARIMA initiative of Unicef. Thus, they submitted a demand letter to Pratima when she went home to home seeking votes. She promised to fulfill the demands of the women of the village. With their support, Pratima was elected the gram pradhan.

“The girls came with their letter once again in which construction of toilets and provisions for proper disposal of sanitary pads and cloth used during menstruation were among the top demands. Very soon, I got down to work and construction of toilets and bathrooms began as a mission. We got incinerators made with toilets to facilitate proper disposal of menstrual waste,” said Pratima.

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