Since, after my retirement in 2009, I have been involved as a Visiting/Guest Faculty in a number of colleges/institutions in New Delhi,teaching various subjects to MBA, BBA and PGDBM students, whenever I see, hear or read anything related to educational field, my antennas perk up !

Here is what impressed me when I read in the media, a few days ago about a girl.

She wears kurtis and jeans.No harm with that,though some of our societal moral police force in some parts of our country have strongly voiced their views saying that girls should not wear jeans.I will not enter into a debate here.

She looks like a model,or may be an upcoming Bollywood starlet.Again no harm in being good looking and well endowed by nature.Its God’s gift I suppose.

She is an MBA.So what of it ? With a mushroomed growth of educational institutions in every lane of a town/city,MBAs are mass produced and are out in lacs every year.

She is computer savvy.Well,in today’s environment,it is necessary to have at least basic knowledge of computers. Computer classes are minting money these days with easy and affordable packages.So,being savvy is an added advantage.

She is our country’s youngest and only MBA sarpanch of a remote village in Rajasthan. Am I joking or what,you will be inclined to say.No, I am serious.

Meet Chhavi Rajawat.She recently addressed the 11th Info- Poverty World Conference at the United Nations and won appreciation for her work and mission.

This 30- year- old girl gave up a senior management position (earning around Rs.50,000/- a month) with Bharti Tele-ventures (part of the Airtel group) to serve her beloved villagers at Soda, 60km from Jaipur, in Tonk District, in backward Rajasthan. The village is home reportedly to around 7000 people, mostly farmers.Soda has been officially declared as a most backward area by the Government.

Chhavi has set a perfect example for the oft repeated quote thse days- ‘think global, act local’.This MBA degree holder, who has till recently seen the inside of the corporate world, is now going around with illiterate or semi-literate villagers.

She simply gave up her plum job,left the shackles of her hitherto urban lifestyle, and decided to serve the underprivileged inhabitants of her ancestral village,Soda,after the people, who fondly refer to her as ‘Baisa’, elected her as their Sarpanch (village head) sometime in February, 2010. This is what she said on her elevation to the new post : “The villagers breached their caste, gender and religious barriers to guarantee my win.I belong to Soda and they need me”.

That is not all.Hear this : “I am a village girl,but thankfully, I have had an opportunity to learn in some of the best educational institutions.I came back to my village to work for them. I owe to this village, where I grew”.

What inspiring words from the mouth of this village girl !They are very relevant in view of the fact that still many village people  do not feel the need for educating the girl child.

By the way,she studied at the Rishi Valley School in Bangalore, Lady Shriram College in Delhi and had topped her MBA class in the Indian Institute of Modern Management, Pune. If I talk in the language of our elders,I would say-“Beti, tum nein apney khaandan aur gaon ka naam roshan kar diya !” (dear,you have made your family and your village, proud of you)

Every MBA knows about what is called the vision and mission statement of a corporate entity.Now let us see her vision and mission.She has laid down her priorities very clearly.She has a master plan well chalked out with priorities like drinking water,sanitation, forestation, better education,providing electricity to every household, roads, self- employment especially for women, adult education and vocational training especially for the youth.In short,her efforts will be to ensure a self reliant and self sufficient village.

Great intentions and motives.However,as is usual,such projects need money.Lack of sufficient funds is a hindrance.So,to support her project, she devotes some of her time at the family-run Hotel Kailrugji in Jaipur and is very hopeful of mobilizing the funds that she needs.

The people of Soda have expressed their confidence in their new sarpanch’s capabilities. According to reports and feedback from the villagers, in the past six months,the standard of living of the people has significantly improved.She goes around to every village school and converses with the village children in English,encouraging them to continue their studies.In fact,the villagers have opined that:” Baisa is much better than the MLA of this constituency”.

Yes,motivating others,persevering for others,working for the neglected sectors of the society-are all acts which if done earnestly,give a lot of mental satisfaction to the doer !

What about her own desires,her passions,her hobbies-you will ask me,for,at this young age,how can you expect such self less service from her? This is what she says : “I do not miss my city life.I have a lot of passions –watching movies, reading books and listening to music, to name a few,but nowadays,I have no time for all that. There is so much to be done and getting work done is not easy.”

So,according to me,Chhavi is a real mover and shaker literally. She has moved from a city life full of allurements to a simple village life.She has moved from air conditioned chambers of corporate offices to the thatched roofs of her village.She has moved from her plum job in the cities to her mission in the rural area of her native village.She has shaken the myth that village girls are meant to get married and look after the chulha-chowka of her in-laws and her pati-parmeshwar ! She has shaken the rural people and has sought their co-operation in turning around their lives for the better.

My salaams to this mover and shaker of the next-gen !


17 responses »

  1. jsbroca says:

    Dear Readers,
    Here is a link to another article on this gutsy girl.
    It is in today’s BUSINESS STANDARD :
    Link :
    Happy reading

  2. gora sarkar says:

    Well done, Chhavi!
    And you, JS, for bringing the story to us.

    • J S Broca says:

      Dear G S,
      Thanks for appreciating Chhavi’s endevour ! Such real life episodes motivate others to try to give back something to the society.Lets have more of such light houses to guide the wandering ships !

      J S BROCA

  3. Inspiring! This article needs to be published in all leading dailies so that more and more people learn about Chhavi and follow her example.

    • J S Broca says:

      Dear Geetashree ji, yes you have said it all.We do need more determined minds and hard workers who can transform our rural areas and make them a better place to live in and at the same time create job opportunities in the areas to prevent fleeing to cities for employment opportunities.Thanks a lot.

      J S Broca

  4. Dear Brocaji,
    Thanks for beaming the spotlight on Chhavi in the blogosphere. We need more such youngsters who would become India’s future.

    • J S Broca says:

      Dear D O P N ji, thanks for your feedback on the posting.Yes I agree with you.From my side,I have sent copies of the article to all my students in various classes in which I teach these days with a view to motivate some of them to go beyond just preaching to actually practising what they learn.Lets hope for some change in the mindset of Gen Next.

      J S BROCA

  5. vimala madon says:

    Chavi’s determination and commitment to the cause of the welfare of her village (to begin with) is an inspiration to young and old alike, that an anomaly like an honest and dedicated politician CAN exist in modern India. With people like her and Anna Hazare, holding common ideals across all age groupsl, and the active support of the aam janta like you and me, the days of the corrupt Indian are numbered.

    • J S Broca says:

      Dear Vimalaji,thanks for your feedback.A nice connection you have made between Chavvi and Anna.Chavvi is young inheritor while Anna is an old horse ! Both have their missions and visions.Let us hope they are successful in their aims and objectives.

      J S BROCA
      New Delhi

  6. Sonal Shree says:

    I had read about Chavi and was really impressed. Renouncing city life in favor of rural is not easy, if not impossible. Kudos to this girl for following her heart. Thanks to you for this write up.

    • J S Broca says:

      Dear Sonal Shree
      Thanks for your lovely and prompt response.One of my MBA students from Delhi got selected as an officer in a reputed bank.He was very happy.However,he was posted to a new branch in a rural area near Faridkot in interior of Punjab.Within 6 months he is fed up and is trying for another job in New Delhi now.So I agree with you that rural life is really a tough walk.Hats off to persons with grit like Chhavi.
      J S BROCA
      New Delhi

  7. Dear Jatinder.

    I admire Chhavi myself and hope and pray that there are more people like her who are willing to give back to the country instead of running away abroad……

    A great start to the new theme.

    • J S Broca says:

      Dear Shail,thanks a lot for starting a new theme, liking my posting and sharing my views on this persona.
      I am reminded of another quote :”I’ve always said that the better off you are, the more responsibility you have for helping others. Just as I think it’s important to run companies well, with a close eye to the bottom line, I think you have to use your entrepreneurial experience to make corporate philanthropy effective.”(Carlos Slim Helu)
      I sincerely hope Chhavi’s movement will galvanize others to follow in her footsteps !
      J S BROCA
      New Delhi

  8. Shernaz says:

    Let us hope we have more Chhavis dedicated to the upliftment of the villagers. And that we too get inspired by the likes of her to do our little bit towards society.

    • J S Broca says:

      Dear Shernaz,thanks for your lovely response.For a change,I wanted to be serious about a topic so this blogpost to prove to myself that I can be serious too instead of being light and frivolous as usual.As said by someone :”Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it’s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.” I hope the message of Chhavi’s goals will move many more hearts.
      New Delhi.

  9. Eva Bell says:

    Chhavi Rajawat has set a wonderful example to the young and educated, who are inclined to settle in cities after their education. She has shown true love and concern for her village. Wish more young people will be inspired by her.

    • J S Broca says:

      Dear Eva,I believe that :”Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more” ( Anthony Robbins).
      I also agree with this famous quote:” Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life’s blood. But everyone has something to give.” ( Barbara Bush)
      Let us hope this example inspires others.
      Thanks for being the first to respond.Wish you all the best!
      J S BROCA
      New Delhi.

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