Rakhi Paliwal is only 23 years old but she is a pioneer in her community. Not only is Rakhi the youngest Vice President of the Upli-Oden Panchayat, Khamnore Block in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, but also the first woman in her community who is studying law and drives a motorcycle. Rakhi travels 50 kilometres every day to attend her law college in Udaipur and is determined to ensure no one in her village defecates in public. Currently, more than 50 percent of her village does not have access to private toilets. Rakhi starts her day at 4 am in the morning daily when she catches women in the village who attempt to defecate in public. She then informs them about hygiene etiquettes and encourages them to build their own toilets. Rakhi’s proactive approach to address development issues does not simply end here. Once she is back from college in the afternoon, Rakhi visits the village schools and Panchayat offices to take stock of all complaints and works hard to find solutions to the community’s problems.
Today, Rakhi is active in social media, where she regularly shares her Panchayat activities and hopes to create websites and connect all the Panchayats in Khamnore virtually. She wants her Panchayat to achieve complete sanitation standards by the end of 2013. Main story:Growing up, Rakhi travelled 10 kms daily to go to a school but never learnt to speak in English. In 9th grade, she became the vice president of the school student union and learnt to believe in the power of good politics.Quote:“I am proud to be a woman as being woman I can bring out all women related issues and also influence women to participate in all developmental and governmental activities as active citizens to become equal to men.”