Neeru Yadav, a Rajasthani woman sarpanch, is on a mission to empower girls by helping them excel in school and sports, and she generously donates her salary to this cause.
Since becoming a sarpanch in October 2020, Neeru Yadav has been donating her salary to the cause of girl children and building schools and playgrounds. She has been going door to door, encouraging girls to learn new skills and get jobs.
“We were surprised to see this village sarpanch going door to door in search of talent in sports,” said Gautam from her village. She not only counseled these female students, but she also ensured that she formed a fantastic hockey team.
“I come from Haryana and have seen girls playing different sports from a very young age,” Neeru said. “Hence, I want girls in Rajasthan also to make a mark and excel.”
Recently, she donated her two-year salary to buy hockey equipment for this girl team, arranged for a private vehicle to ferry them to a sports ground a little further away, and also arranged for a private coach for their training, resulting in girls who had never left their village outperforming their competitors from surrounding villages and playing at the district level for the first time. They now want to compete at the state and national levels as well.
“We have seen Neeru standing under the scorching sun while watching roads being built to school,” said Sanjay Kumar, a local resident. “If she noticed a problem, she was the first to confront the appropriate officials.”
Neeru said that “Sarpanch is the only post that transfers the benefits of the central government or the state government schemes directly to the public. I am simply trying to justify my position. It is very important for a sarpanch to get the benefits of the government’s schemes to the public to make an impact at the grassroots.”
Adding further, she said, “Women need to become change agents to change society.” In the last few years, we have seen transformations in society. Now women and men are working shoulder to shoulder. In the village too, we need to spread awareness and do away with social taboos like gender discrimination and dowry. Girl education in this direction works wonders, so I emphasize the fact that each daughter of my village goes to school. When there was no road, I ensured the road was built so that none of our daughters face challenges during rainfall,” she added.
Neeru has also been recognized by the state government’s education department for her assistance in the development of government school buildings and other infrastructure.