Bhumita Kundalik Gavrane could not complete her education beyond Class VIII. And yet, this 38 year old woman who used to “sustain herself by doing some labour work in her farm” is today a sarpanch. At the helm of affairs in Chirchadi village Maharashtra, Bhumita even today feels that people disrespect her because she is a woman.
For 10 years after her marriage, Bhumita used to feel dejected about the dismal state of affairs in her village. Progress was a distant milestone and the villagers seemed to have got used to their conditions. Things would have continued like this, until Bhumita one day decided to step forward and make a difference.
She bravely stood for elections for the first time in 2010. Thankfully for her, her husband and mother-in law supported her in this decision. Not only did they help her contest elections but also eased the pressure of household work so she could work for the panchayat.
In the past four years, Bhumita has been steering her village on the road to progress. She is taking steps to improve the drainage system and hygiene in the village. She has established a school, created employment opportunities and organised Aadhar camps within the village. Bhumita is also working towards improving healthcare services for everyone.
From being a humble farmer, Bhumita is today “handling important responsibilities on her shoulders”. Things can get difficult at times but she is ready to take on the challenges. She realises that women fail to realise their potential because of the gender disparity in society. But that doesn’t deter her in any way. Instead it makes her more focused in her vision and more inspired to achieve her goals.
Bhumita owns and uses a cell phone to connect with people. She has heard of the importance of computers, hasn’t used one but is sure that “it is helpful in a lot of aspects”.
In her will to improve living conditions for everyone, Bhumita has indeed, travelled a long way. Inspiration for this can come from any quarter. But as this independent, strong-headed leader always says, “she is inspired by herself”.