Time and again, women have proved themselves to be equal, and sometimes better, than their male counterparts in every walk of life. Be it sharing household responsibilities or having a flourishing career, women are catching up with men at lightning speed.
However, there are still people in rural India where women are not given basic rights or representation. Girls are not allowed to study and taught only the traditional gender roles. But times are changing and good things really are coming our way.
Villagers of the Garhazan village in Bharatpur elected Shahnaaz Khan, a 24-year-old female MBBS student as their Sarpanch. She is not only the youngest sarpanch of Mewat region, she is also the most educated woman in the history of Garhazan.
As per Hindustan Times, Shahnaaz is a medical student at Teerthanker Mahaveer Medical College and Research Center in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. She was appearing for her 4th-year practical MBBS exam on the day of the election.
“People in Mewat area don’t send their daughters to schools. I will present before them my own example to show what education can do for a woman.”
Shahnaaz plans to take up an internship at the Civil Hospital in Gurgaon, but she is confident that she will be able to manage her studies as well as political career.
Her grandfather, Hanif Khan, was the previous sarpanch whose election was declared void after the court ruled that he had forged educational qualification documents. He was the sarpanch for 55 years. Even her own parents, Zahida and Jalees Khan, are involved in politics.
The literacy rate in Mewat is lesser than national literacy rate. It is also considered to be one of the most backward areas. Shahnaaz plans to spread awareness about sanitation and hygiene to prevent diseases and save lives. She said,
“For instance, people here die of tuberculosis. The disease can be cured with a six-month course but people are unaware.”
Shahnaaz is not only making her family proud and carrying on her grandfather’s legacy, she is also creating history and inspiring women of our country.