34-year-old Kavita Bhondwe, Maharashtra’s specially-abled woman elected as Sarpanch of 2 villages
Overcoming her physical disability, Kavita Bhondwe, a 34-year-old specially-abled woman from Nashik, Maharashtra is serving the society as the Sarpanch of Dahegaon and Waglud villages in Nashik District for the last nine years.
The human spirit is one of ability, perseverance, and courage which no disability can steal away. Kavita Bhondwe from Nashik is a great example of this, She overcame her physical disability and now serving as the Sarpanch of 2 Maharashtra villages, Dahegaon and Waglud in the Nashik District. In her childhood, she suffered from polio and now she walks with the help of crutches.
In 2011, Kavita was first elected as the head of Sarpanch when she was just 25 years old and now she is serving the second term as the Sarpanch.
During her nine years of her tenure, despite bearing the societal pressures and prejudices against her and her disability, Kavita has contributed to the bettering of the lives of villagers by ensuring that the villages are provided with roads, drinking water supply, and house for the poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna.
Since she was physically challenged, everyone used to make fun of her. They even questioned her ability by saying that she couldn’t take care of herself, how would she able to take care of the entire villages as said by Kavita in an interview.
Despite all this, she focused on her ability and did not pay any attention to the criticization of the people around her, and got support from her family. In an interview with the Hindustan Times, she said “My father and brother used to drop me at the office and pick me up. Many did not like the fact that I became the Sarpanch at the age of 25.”
For her achievement at a young age by overcoming her disability, she gives all the credit to her father, Pundalik Bhondwe who had served as Gram Panchayat Member for 15 years but later he started to face difficulties due to lack of education. In 2011, he encouraged her to contest the election. However, Kavita Bhondwe who had never been part of the Gram Panchayat and was finally elected as the Sarpanch.
Kavita also worked for improving the overall infrastructure facilities in the villages. She even started the women’s help group in both the villages and created awareness among the girls for education. She stood up for the illegal practices in Dahegaon and Waglud villages.
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