Dalit girl Kiran Rani (21), the newly-elected sarpanch who belongs to the Scheduled Caste community, has emerged as a ray of hope for residents of Dobhi village in the district. Fourth among eight siblings, including seven sisters, Kiran said women could be better administrator and she would prove it.
A commerce graduate, Kiran defeated her nearest rival Mahender Singh by a huge margin of 776 votes. “In fact, the goodwill and reputation of my father prevailed in my support while the entire womenfolk of the village also consolidated in my favour,” she said.
“I have been active in social work in the village. Before the elections, some people asked me to contest for the post of sarpanch and I pounced on the chance without giving a second thought as I have an inclination for politics,” she said.
Her father Tara Chand (50), a farm labourer, said he wanted his daughter to join the politics and the village provided a perfect launch pad for this. “I am a farm labourer and earn a living by working on the fields. But I never came across any kind of caste bias,” he said.
When asked reasons for having eight offspring, including seven girls, he said, “Honestly, the belief that one must have a boy in the family to carry forward our generation resulted in seven girls. But I have realised that it is totally rubbish. My daughters have proved me wrong. I want to send out a massage to society to bust the misconception about the girl child,” he said.
Chand said he sent all his daughters to school and three of them were married now. “I like Kiran more than my son Vinod, the youngest among the siblings. Three younger daughters — Anita, Jyoti and Renu — are school students,” he said.
When asked about her priorities after becoming the sarpanch, Kiran said, “I have promised to ensure water connections to families living in ‘dhanis’. There are about 700 ‘dhanis’ on the outskirts of my village.”