21-Yr-Old Medical Student Wins Sarpanch Election In Maharashtra On Return From Georgia

New Delhi: Yashodhara Shinde, 21, aspired to become a doctor and was pursuing the medical course in Georgia, but fate had something else in store for her as she returned to her village in Maharashtra, contested the sarpanch election and won it too.

She now plans to work for the betterment of her village Vaddi in Miraj tehsil of Sangli district and also complete her education online.

Talking to PTI, Shinde said she wants to make women self-reliant, introduce e-learning and other education tools for students, help children adopt good health habits, contribute towards the betterment of youth’s aspirations and welfare of the farmers’ community in the village.

“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,” she said.

“When elections were announced in my village, locals wanted someone from our family to contest for the sarpanch’s (village head) 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,” said Shinde.

Voting for 7,682 gram panchayats in parts of Maharashtra was held on December 18. The results were declared on Tuesday.

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Asked about her plans as sarpanch for the development of the village, Shinde 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.

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.

“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. Also, children need to adopt good health habits,” she said.

Shinde also said she will 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.

Asked about her medical course and how she wishes to pursue it, Shinde said she will complete her education online and her friends will also help her in the studies.

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