Navli Redwa is a 25 years old ward member from Redwakla village in Sirohi district, Rajasthan. But her age belies her experience. This feisty girl stood for elections for the first time in 2010 and has achieved so much in a matter of a few years.
Navli describes herself as a ‘12th pass simple girl’ who wanted to work for the betterment of villagers and ‘provide them with a better place to live’. So, armed with this vision, Navli, who knew nothing about politics or the working of the government mechanism, took on the challenge of contesting elections and using her authority to bring about positive change.
Besides inadequate education facilities, water scarcity and poor road infrastructure are the main problems that plague the area. Women in the region have to walk for miles to fetch water. This proves doubly difficult in the harsh summer months. Navli has, during her tenure, got hand pumps installed in the village to ease the problem of access to water. Work is also underway on getting water tanks built in the village.
While working in the area, Navli also realised that villagers were reluctant to send their children to school because they felt it was unnecessary. Astute Navli realised that with education comes better employment opportunities and increased self-sufficency. She started off by organising awareness camps on the importance of education. There are instances of how she even picked and dropped children to school on her bike in order to motivate parents to educate them. Though the situation has improved immensely, Navli still feels a lot more needs to be done.
Improving the road infrastructure in the region remains an important focus area in order to improve connectivity. While every effort is being made to do this, in some ways, Navli also realises that connectivity can be improved with the help of computers and the internet. She uses her mobile phone for making and answering calls and knows how to use a computer. However, she only gets to use it when she visits the school where it is kept.
With more women leaders coming forward in the area and improved access to government schemes and information, the future looks promising. And young Navli with her passion and vision will surely be the harbinger of things to come.