It reads like a superhero story. Kumari Preeti Kiran Rao Shambharkar successfully completed her medical exam in one and half hours. Then she went and filled the nomination papers for election in 2010. All this while her family and friends were unaware of what she was up to.
29 year old Preeti is the Block Panchayat President of Vihirgaon in Maharashtra. Like she says, “I believe in myself and take decisions on my own.” It was while undergoing her training as an ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Mid-wife), that this feisty woman was shocked at the unfair treatment meted out to her and her colleagues by the head of the institute. Not one to take this lying down, Preeti decided to contest the elections and prevent such wrongdoings.
Inspired by the teachings of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Preeti feels that women should be given equal opportunities in every field. The lopsided and narrow minded views of society needed some balancing and that is where she stepped in.
Unhealthy environment, unsafe drinking water and lack of facilities particularly for senior citizens are some of the problems in her village. During her tenure, Preeti has been organizing camps to so that solutions can reach the beneficiaries. Her younger, emotional self has been replaced by a more pragmatic, strong person who takes every decision independently.
The first few years were spent in learning the ropes and now Preeti feels that more women should step forward to take on positions of authority. They might need training and knowledge, but once empowered, women can take on any responsibility.
Preeti uses the mobile phone to stay connected to people and is trained in computers. She realises that computers can help increase efficiency and decrease the work load. It is only a matter of time before Preeti inspires more women to join her in her efforts for a impartial society, free of gender bias.