Published: 21st December 2022
Pune: 21-year-old medical student contests election in her village, becomes sarpanch
Yashodhara Shinde said her main focus will be to address the issues of women and prioritise the welfare of children
A medical student from Pune, Maharashtra, suddenly found herself contesting for the sarpanch elections in her village, after returning from medical training in Georgia. Now she has won the elections and become the village head at the age of 21.
Yashodhara Shinde had aspired to become a doctor. Then how did she end up contesting the elections? "When elections were announced in my village, locals wanted someone from our family to contest for the sarpanch's post. A decision was taken to field me for the position. I got a call from my family and I returned, contested the election and won," the student said, as per a PTI report.
"Voting for 7,682 gram panchayats in parts of Maharashtra was held on December 18. The results were declared on Tuesday (December 20)," Shinde stated, adding that she now plans to work for the betterment of her village Vaddi, which is situated in the Miraj tehsil of the Sangli district. Making women self-reliant, introducing e-learning and other educational tools for students, helping children adopt good health habits, contributing towards the betterment of youth's aspirations and ensuring the welfare of the farmers' community are some of the agendas she wishes to work on.
The student said her main focus will be to address the issues of women and make them stand on their feet. "I am of the opinion that women must get an equal chance to show what they are capable of, and I would like to make them educated and independent and not rely on their male counterparts," she said. "I would also like to work towards the construction of toilets in the village and facilitate easy availability of sanitary napkins for girls and women," she added.
Her priority list also includes the welfare of children and their education. "I would like to expose them to e-learning and the latest pedagogies," Shinde said, adding, "Also, children need to adopt good health habits," as per PTI.
Shinde said she would work with the youth on the development agenda of the village. "In the village, 70 to 80 per cent of the population is into agriculture and I would like to work for their sustainable development," she said.
The girl added that she would complete her education online alongside. "I have been pursuing the MBBS course at the New Vision University in Georgia. Currently, I am in the 4th year and one-and-a-half years of the course is still left to be completed," Shinde said. She said further that her friends would also help with her studies.