If you want to serve people, it doesn’t matter how old you are or where you come from or what people think about you. What matters most is your ability to it!
I am one of the youngest Sarpanch of Haryana and at the age of 21, I decided to stand for elections.
Born in Bijopur and educated at private boarding schools and colleges my ancestral roots lie in Bijopur village.
It all started when I was much younger, I always wanted to be a cop or a politician and serve people someday. I decided to choose politics over uniform job
I know I don’t fit the typical character of Sarpanch which is usually an elderly man, but the villagers here didn’t care they were more interested in what work I did and that’s what really matters.
For me it was more about shattering stereotypes, so I mainly focused on literacy rate of my village and started promoting education. There was no toilet in local school so people wouldn’t send their girls to study.
I understood the development challenges faced and wanted to help the village.
So I built toilets and encouraged girls to study. And gradually the number of girl’s students increased. In my tenancy my council has constructed 96 toilets and made bijopur an open defecation free village, to promote clean neighborhood dustbins were provided, drains were covered, brought water, power, and even bank to bijopur residents.
One of my proudest moments was when I convinced the council members to give up the sarpanchayats land to a shaheeds wife. This was a major accomplishment for me.
The Dalits in our village had to travel more than 10 kms for cremation so we built a burial ground for them in our village.
My family especially my father has played important role in my journey. It’s been tenure I was chosen to shoulder the responsibility as sarpanch and I have been able to overcome all the roadblocks because of their support.
Talking about the pandemic, during the initial months of the outbreak people were educated on what the virus was and how transmission took place.
We sanitized the entire village and I can proudly say that till date there is not even a single positive case in Bijopur.
My message to the youth is don’t criticize politics ‘Desh ko badalna hai toh Soch badal do thodi si,’ be the change you wish to see. One person can make a difference and everyone should try!
(Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda)