‘Maayka Chavi Ka’… sequel to ‘Sasural Simar Ka’ ;)

In the last post we saw Simar’s future will be decided by her parents and extended family, and to some extent by her neighbours’ gossip opinions. Her happiness will also depend on her pati parmeshwar and her saasu ma – if she is fortunate they will treat her well. That’s her life. Get Married. Stay Married.

And then there is Chhavi.

Chhavi Rajawat, an MBA and the Sarpanch of  the village that is her ‘maayka‘ 

Indian girls do have choices, if the society and the parents open their eyes and notice them. Chhavi, 30 chose to make a difference.

I loved the first few words in this video below 🙂


This village Sarpanch knows no stereotypes. 

She does not become like the villagers to help them, they want to be like her.

Her responsibilities include making clean drinking water available to the villagers, water conservation, water harvesting, tree planting, road works and bringing electricity to rural households. A project that’s close to her heart is the revamp of the local schools.

That’s her team of eleven, four men and seven women 🙂

“I hope my small contribution to society will encourage more girls to work towards rural development. Take the plunge and you will realise that it is worth it,” she says.‘  [Click to read more]


Read Sandhya’s post for more on Chhavi Rajawat.

Related posts:

Sarpanch Ashuba Khan and her all women Panchayat, Neemkheda village, Haryana.
I do not like Reservation.
Biology versus Culture DEATHMATCH Part I (Nandini’s Niche)


40 thoughts on “‘Maayka Chavi Ka’… sequel to ‘Sasural Simar Ka’ ;)

  1. Dear IHM, I had read and tweeted about Chhavi Rajawat previously. I found her story most inspiring. I also liked what you said about not becoming like the villagers to help them – truly, I feel that people are smart enough to recognize who is genuinely interested in their progress, and can go beyond judging others by their clothes etc.


    • This is called the power of privilege- of caste, class, religion that accords quality education that gives skills to speak English.

      Ms Rajawat is not the first educated Sarpanch in India. She is definitely fluent English speaking Sarpanch. The region she is working in is the prime target of corporate NGOs and international funding agencies because it falls in the Delhi, Agra and Jaipur triangle and near the airport (60 km) thus facilitates showcasing government schemes to international audiance. There is a lot to consider before we call it breaking the glass cieling. 🙂

      Here is one example where a person is working against the odds.

      There are many women Sarpanchs in various states with Master’s degrees; one in interior Rajasthan has been DG’s senior in college. She started in 1995.
      Ms Rajawat got media attention and the village she is working in is strategically placed and is in the process of being made an ideal village.

      DG’s comment may seem critical or unappreciative but it is important to understand how privilege works.

      Desi Girl


    • @IHM,
      DG is not negating that Ms Rajawat is doing something good with her privilege. The point she is making is how strategic location and other corresponding factors make a hero of one and keeps other equally efficient actors invisible.
      Where was media when other educated women in other parts of the country are doing similar and good work? Why none of the comment writers talk about these invisible change makers? The politics of development is complex. Actors are selectively supported and made visible and the audience are presented with glossy picture of selective good and the lesser and distant good remains invisible just like the bad.
      The choice here in this upper caste village was to have a upper caste woman as a Sarpanch or say “yes sir” to a lower caste man. This is exactly like last US elections, to elect a white woman or a black man.
      It is exactly like the north-south dowry and crime against women bias we discussed. Based on personal exposure one or two cases people create and feed stereotypes.
      It is exactly like saying CSR is good for communities negating the fact that it is the MNCs displacing people. DG made that point at gbuzz. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-03-25/news/29188722_1_paul-kagame-rwanda-agra

      As informed readers we ought to critically analyze the information presented to us. That is all DG is saying.
      Desi Girl


      • I do agree that while this is a good development, it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. I think you make a good point about caste, class and privilege. Doesn’t hurt that she easy on the eyes too! But I also feel that its good to have a female role model who is not a beauty queen, actress or supermodel.

        On another point – if her life was to be made into a soap opera by Ekta Kapoor – what she would do to it?!


  2. BRAVA!
    This is the sort of person that modern India needs. People who are willing to break out of the mold, leave behind stereotypes and set out to realize their full potentials regardless of where they come from. Regardless of what society thinks they should be.

    This is how societies progress! Make no mistake, people, it is pioneering individuals like Chavi who will drag Indian society, kicking and screaming, into the modern age. Call it intestinal fortitude or just some gutsy spirit, this woman has it all and how! A total class act.

    Today I head to work, inspired and hopeful.


  3. This is simply so awesome. And the best part is that the villages have also welcomed her, though it may not have been the case in the beginning. It is a wonder how society’s attitudes change when the parents are behind you. Three cheers to Chavi!


  4. The line “After all, I am their daughter!” brought tears to my eyes. Also “When I stepped into the race, almost everyone backed out.” Here’s the real power of a woman!

    LOVED this!


  5. Wow!! She inspires me to do something more meaningful with my life..to contribute in whatever stifling way possible to bring about that positive change.
    Hope the politicos are not looking away..Sirs & Madames, its not about adorning the desi garb and making meaningless speeches about upkeep of age old traditions & culture (which mostly are misinterpreted and obsolete in today’s context). Its about being real and bringing about progress and change in our society.


  6. Wow. Truly inspiring. So nice to see that she did not have to give up her jeans to be accepted as village sarpanch. And that the whole village still shows so much faith in her even though she does not come across traditional and conventional.


  7. more power to her! Inspiring and she must be the coolest Sarpanch ever!

    PS : IHM, Did you link to my comment in the previous post because of the phrase usage(ie sitting duck)? I couldn’t understand the correlation because my comment was only with respect to my thoughts on the groom-search-and-expectation situation.


      • no, no, not at all, IHM. I didn’t understand it, and finally thought it must be the phrase usage, so asked 🙂 I’ve absolutely no issues about the linking!


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  9. excellent and well done to her.. here’s wishing that more and more educated and young people take on the responsibilities of imporving one village each.. and soon the country will be a better place to live in

    Hats off to her



  10. Yes …she is a role model for many women and young girls.
    Femina had done an article on her long time back and it amazed me how her village people had supported and welcomed her . This is uncommon to get such support though , but more and more women are making their own choices and main stream politics needs more of them. I wish women from commoners families also could come forward and be welcomed like this ….

    Her shining story should be a motivating force for many….we need many of her chhavis ( reflections )….right !!!


  11. So heartening! And whats more so is that how well the villagers have accepted her thereby stepping away from prejudices. It shows that they understand that education IS important for the betterment of a society, that women ARE to be given equal opportunities. Some ray of hope there!

    More power to Chhavi Rajawat! Hope this is the way forward for the rest of India as well!


  12. What a tremendous woman! She has achieved so much against all odds. Inspires me to kick myself out of my complaining mode and do something positive.
    Am glad you posted this IHM.


  13. What a foresight! I read this post first thing in the morning and it was on my mind the whole day 🙂
    For some, the battle is to save a village, for some the battle is to save oneself! Makes me wonder what metal are we made up of 🙂
    We need more such stories on a regular basis just to step back for a moment and feel pride 🙂


  14. So inspiring!! Any story where the person breaks out of the stereotype and dares to do something different and something one truly believes in, is laudable. It is an inspiring story for every human being. And After going through the post and the videos I really feel like quitting my job (which i incidently love) and doing something that benefits the greater mass. Cheers to chhavi and many more people still unnoticed, who are bringing about a change!!


  15. I read of her in a newspaper recently, I think. Thanks for the post, IHM. I find her really inspiring. Without in any way undermining the important point that I think Desi Girl has made, I appreciate how Chhavi Rajawat uses her advantages.


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