Meet our Alumna Up-Sarpanch, Kiran (Batch-2)
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently" - Maya Angelou.
Our edu-leader Kiran was a typical shy girl from a small village in Bihar. Like most girls in Bihar, she was married at a young age, as soon as she finished high school. After marriage, she decided to pick up where she left and completed her graduation. She was introduced to the i-Saksham fellowship program by a former edu-leader. Soon she joined the program with a motive to make a difference and continue her learning.
Kiran was an edu-leader from Batch 2 cohort of the fellowship program. When she joined the program in 2018, she felt like giving up because of her marital status. She had to fight to gain societal acceptance as she was creating her own path, unlike other married women.
From the start of her fellowship, she showed exemplary courage to give back to society. In the last quarter of 2021, she raised her voice against baal vivah or child marriage in her village, as she found that due to the pandemic the frequency of early marriages had increased.
Today, Kiran is all set to lead her community as she has been elected as the Up-Sarpanch of Panchayat Mehgama, block Dharhara, district Munger, Bihar.
When we chatted with Kiran, she expressed her feeling of pride on reaching this level.
“I was the usual gaon ki ladki [village girl] who would not go anywhere, not talk to anyone outside. After the fellowship, things changed. Now I can talk to anyone without any hesitation or fear. I learnt how to use a mobile phone and become tech-savvy. I must add that my level of confidence has increased a lot. Just yesterday I attended the aam sabha meeting and I spoke so confidently.
When I took the oath for up-sarpanch, I felt so proud and that I can do something now. I’m looking forward to doing something for my village in the next 5 years that I will be holding this position.”
Kiran believes that her village needs more development, particularly in education. She wants to continue fighting early marriage and the low level of education among girls in her village. She sees how people in her village don't value education. She wants to change that and wants all children to study. As she puts it, “all the bahu beti [daughters-in-law and daughters] of our village should study. I am also one, I have studied and I’m making a change.”
It was Kiran’s determination that made her win the Up-Sarpanch elections. Her consistent steps are a brilliant example of active citizenship towards educating her community.
We congratulate Kiran for her exemplary accomplishment; she is now all set to put her principles into practice.
Aditi is a communication consultant working with i-Saksham.
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