Author : Sanjana Yadav
I was born in a small village in Haryana; a village with less than 500 families. My conservative upbringing forced me to experience the dehumanization of women through system-sanctioned abuse and violence without avenues for redressal at any level. This culminated in a cousin losing her life to domestic violence. That is when I finally said, “enough” and decided to dedicate my life to creating gender equity and social change in the marginalized communities. I went on to do my major in English Literature at Lady Shri Ram College and then joined the social development sector, working in rural and tribal areas across India. This journey gave me a deep understanding of ground realities and aligned my personal need to work on gender equity with the community’s need. Working on the ground in different contexts gave me immense satisfaction but I always felt like something was missing. My heart was in Haryana. I kept thinking about going back to my roots and working for those little girls and children who came from the same settings that I was in but never had the opportunities. Deep down I always wanted to go back to my roots and work there so that I could be more at peace with my past experiences by making a difference.

Also, my stint in the development sector made me realize that many solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems are local, but require catalytic intervention and systems support. I also learned to appreciate the key role of local and state governments in taking community welfare projects scalable and sustainable. That’s when I decided to join the Chief Minister Good Governance Associate program which is a strategic collaboration between the Government of Haryana and Ashoka University to improve governance in the state and drive a mass impact on the ground. Running since 2016, the programme provides a platform for young individuals, to work closely with the Chief Minister’s Office for bringing transparency, accountability and efficiency to public service delivery in the state.

Now, I have got the opportunity to work with the CM of Haryana as a deputy manager under CMGGA and to give back to my roots. I couldn’t be happier, my parents couldn’t be happier. It is the first time in my life that I didn’t have to fight for something with my parents. They were elated to know that I would be working with the CM of Haryana.

When I was leaving my home to join my job location, my dad said, “ab ek clerk ki beti CM ke saath kaam karegi” (Now a clerk’s daughter will work with the CM). The pride and happiness in his eyes will be etched in my life forever.

My dream is to bring gender equity to the last mile communities and inspire girls to realise all those big dreams they dream of in small villages.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *