25-yr-old woman engineer sarpanch remodels a Haryana Dalit village

25-yr-old woman engineer sarpanch remodels a Haryana Dalit village

Oct 16, 2020

KAKRALA KUCHIYAN (KAITHAL): A qualified woman chief can transform a village. Thanks to her, this place 20 km from the district headquarters knows gender safety, reading habit, and moder n outlook.
In her trademark blue jeans, white shirt, and neat braid, engineer Parveen Kaur, 25, surveys the makeover of her Dalit-dominated village of farm hands and odd-jobbers. Women and girls mingle with her freely, raising their concerns that came up during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Parveen could win the sarpanch’s election unopposed in 2016 because the seat was reserved for a woman who had cleared Class VIII. Her father, contractor Meeta Ram, said: “No other village woman had that minimum qualification. It was a blessing in disguise for my daughter.” The family moved from the village a decade ago and lives in Cheeka town of Kaithal district.

“My goal of having a base in Cheeka was good education for my daughter and son. Now, they have attained education, they should work for their village. Parveen is the first woman to move out of this village for higher education,” Meeta Ram said.

KAKRALA KUCHIYAN (KAITHAL): A qualified woman chief can transform a village. Thanks to her, this place 20 km from the district headquarters knows gender safety, reading habit, and moder n outlook.
In her trademark blue jeans, white shirt, and neat braid, engineer Parveen Kaur, 25, surveys the makeover of her Dalit-dominated village of farm hands and odd-jobbers. Women and girls mingle with her freely, raising their concerns that came up during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Parveen could win the sarpanch’s election unopposed in 2016 because the seat was reserved for a woman who had cleared Class VIII. Her father, contractor Meeta Ram, said: “No other village woman had that minimum qualification. It was a blessing in disguise for my daughter.” The family moved from the village a decade ago and lives in Cheeka town of Kaithal district.

“My goal of having a base in Cheeka was good education for my daughter and son. Now, they have attained education, they should work for their village. Parveen is the first woman to move out of this village for higher education,” Meeta Ram said.

Parveen Kaur said: “I was studying engineering at Kurukshetra University when the opportunity came to me. Professional education demanded attention but leading the village was no less tempting, so I was in two minds.” Today, the village has a panchayat ghar with solar-panel rooftop, a library with racks of books, public Wi-Fi, cemented lanes, and security cameras at prime spots.

Yet pre-Parveen, the village looked opposite. The engineer sarpanch recalled: “I brought a shed over the bus stop, CCTV cameras for the safety of women, library and books for the students, water coolers for summer, and other changes.” Along with it, she is getting a diploma in web design from Chandigarh with family support.

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