top of page
  • Writer's pictureWTP India

How Kamla Devi Encourages Women to be Agents of Change

Kamla Devi; a resilient, straightforward and independent woman, belongs to Pokta village, in Gumla district, Jharkhand. She works everyday towards a just and equal society. Having lost her husband, she has had to take on the responsibility of the household and that of educating her children.

It may seem like a lot, but that did not stop Kamla Devi, she stood tall and made it happen. She now lives with her mother, and her three children.

Her children go to school, while she herself goes from one block to another educating women about what gender. Creating space for dialogue, and explaining what it means, the different stereotypes, misconceptions, and taboos. She works with the Mahila Vikas Mandal, Gumla district, as their Gender DRP (District Resource Person) and is also a member of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Pokta.

The power that her rights hold was unveiled to Kamla Devi at the time of her training with We, The People Abhiyan. After completing the ‘Samvidhan se Samadhan’ training, empowered with the knowledge of the Constitution, she wrote a letter to the Block Level Office, filing for her pension. In the letter she asserted her Right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution and her right to receive pension.

“Where did you learn you had to write a letter?” she was asked, in the process of filing the application, a question stemming almost from disbelief. She was proud to say the knowledge came from a training she had attended. There, she learnt how to find and connect to the right point of contact, the right documents and the procedure that would help her exercise her right and receive pension.

In her journey, Kamla Devi, has also fought in the Ward Parishad elections. She received significant pushback to her participation. Many told her that she would not be able to stand for elections from Pokta since she was married in another village. But she knew better than that. Since she had lived in Pokta for over 5 years, she knee she was eligible to stand for the elections as per the prescribed rules. And so she did.

She did not win in votes, but she emerged victorious in claiming her right.

Her experiences have inspired her to be an agent of change. She is now an active participant of the Gram Sabha in Pokta. And has taken this opportunity to participate in discussions and assert her rights. She encourages conversations around constitutional values such as equality and fraternity, while also answering any questions people may have about their rights.

We still live in a society, where women are discouraged to speak up, and are denied access to their rights. But Kamla Devi is driven to break this barrier.

Through the Mahila Vikas Mandal and her SHGs, she continues to educate women about societal norms and stereotypes that hold women back. While working towards creating a support system for women by educating them, and helping them get financial support through SHGs, she encourages them to be active participants in the political process as well through the Gram Sabha.

She believes that their views will only add value, afterall it is their constitutional right. Then why must they not be entitled to it?

Kamla Devi continues to empower her family, friends, and the larger society through the work that she does. The women Kamla Devi has trained can be seen coming forward, being actively involved and expressing their opinions more confidently. Her resilience against the odds of life has inspired many to never give up, and face any challenge head on.

The above story has been written and published with the explicit consent of the individual involved. All facts presented are based on WTPA's direct interaction with the individual, ensuring accuracy and integrity in our reporting.

14 views0 comments


bottom of page