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  • Writer's pictureWTP India

Malti's dream of enabling Education in her community!

This is the story of Malti Devi, a resident of Dhanbad, Jharkhand, whose vision for the well-being of her community enabled her to overcome obstacles and be part of various meaningful endeavours. 

She embarked on her journey by joining the Jharkhand Shiksha Pariyojana in 1997, a programme aimed at enhancing educational access and outcomes in the state. Travelling extensively, Malti conducted surveys to assess children's challenges and contributed to the establishment of Gram Shiksha Samitis or Village Educational Committees across the state. During large-scale review meetings, she raised pertinent issues faced by families unable to afford necessities. Her input strengthened the program's inclusivity, ensuring it addressed the needs of all underprivileged families, including providing midday meals at schools to improve attendance.

Her passion for education led her to participate in the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan in 2012 where she was selected as a master trainer for the Village Level Child Protection Committee (VLCPC) in her community. During this time, she visited and stayed in neighbouring villages for several days promoting education and encouraging student enrollment.

Subsequently, Malti founded her own organization, Asha Kiran Yuva Sansthaan, with a focus on women's empowerment initiatives such as facilitating bank account creation, identifying employment opportunities, and supporting the formation of self-help groups. Collaborating with UNICEF in their "Take Your Poo to the Loo" sanitation campaign. Malti successfully oversaw the installation of 300 toilets in her community, disproving critics of her 6-month-old organisation. 

Despite facing career interruptions post-marriage, Malti resumed her activism in 2018, assisting women in accessing redressal for exploitation and abuse. Through her work in Dhanbad district and neighbouring states, she brought about a significant change in mindset, enabling women to recognise and stand against injustice. Empowered to directly approach police stations, they now seek her guidance and support regarding their grievances. Despite occasional dismissals by the authorities, Malti Devi remains committed to supporting them, earning a reputation as a trusted advocate for exploited women.

Participation in the WTPA training further fortified Malti's advocacy efforts, equipping her with a deeper understanding of constitutional rights and values. Recently, during a family dispute, local police detained a man following a complaint from his sister-in-law. Sensing injustice, Malti intervened. Equipped with knowledge of technical legalities as well as confidence gained through her training with WTPA, she approached the Thana Prabhari, questioning the lawfulness of the detention without permission from the District Magistrate. Additionally, she notified the local media about the incident who reached the station momentarily. Taken aback by Malti’s determination and expertise, the Prabhari promptly released the man within 30 minutes, underscoring the importance of community advocacy and legal awareness in ensuring swift justice.

Malti Devi's story symbolises the transformative power of grassroots activism and civic awareness. Her unwavering commitment to social justice is an inspiration for changemakers everywhere.

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.

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