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End Violence Against Children
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Celebrating Thirty Two years of Service

A Niche in the Skies

She was denied the right to attend school in childhood; her marriage was solemnized in her teens and after marriage she was a victim in her in-laws. She was never felt fit for consultation during decision making processes at home as she was called names – “Bokki” (“Bokki” is a work negatively used to denote one’s innocence and lack of understanding).

True, she is born and brought up in poverty and continues as such until now. Poverty has never wane her interest to live life to the fullest. The stereotypes of discrimination at different stages of her life always put her in to trouble. Sakuntala was destined to pass a sorrowful life until the day came when she made her way to the seat of power – become the ward member in the year 2007. With this an era of dynamics of power came to stay null and void. For the first time in the history of PR elections in her ward, a woman from the backward section of the society ushers to hold power. Life treasures many such things for many people in this world. Few people could able to cross the bar. Sakuntala’s is a true story enacted. Sakuntala indeed crossed the bar to set an example for her and for others.

Being in the seat of power does not mean all. It was a challenging job. Sakuntala realized her inability to deliver the good. She did not know anything about the PR processes and programs. Personally she did not have education or the power to raise her voice. Many things slept away from her rights as other people grab it to quench illegitimate ends. Sakuntala could realize her incapacity and inability, but she cannot do anything.

Things began changing slowly but positively in favour of Sakuntala when she began attending the programs of PECUC-THP. During her tenure as first female ward member of her ward she realized the importance of education particularly in the life of girl child and fought to assure the same for all children in her ward. As a member of the school committee, she successfully handled the issue on discrimination pertaining to school MDM and school uniform. At the grampanchayata level, she is duly supported to table her issue and hammer her voice against structures of discrimination and injustice. Time has changed. A “Bokki” of bygone times is being consulted for good. Sakuntala retains power in 2011 without any context or, resistance from any section of her community. Sakuntala thanks PECUC-THP for making her realize the rights she deserved.

Personal Details:

Name. Mrs. Sakuntala Nayaka

Age. 52 years old

Qualification. 4th Class

Mother of: One married son and one unmarried young girl.

Designation. Ward Member

Class: Other Backward Caste (OBC)


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