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Stories of Change: Fighting against all odds
Gitanjali, president of the adolescent girls’ group of Paji Bahal Village in Odisha dreamt of becoming a nurse one day. After losing her father at the age of 18 years, family's responsibility resided on her shoulders. She started providing private tuitions to the small children in her village to help her mother who was unable to sustain the whole family.
Gitanjali learnt about the work Oxfam India and its partner National Alliance of Women Organisation (NAWO) that works with men, women, boys and girls in their village. She joined the adolescent girls’ group, in her panchayat after completing her graduation from a nearby college. Because of her tireless and persistent efforts towards educating all girls in her village, she was chosen as the president of the Maa Durga Balika Mandal (girls group). She also started talking with the boys and men in her village, regarding issues of domestic violence and alcoholism.
Under her gallant leadership, the girls’ group from her village, are claiming the available public spaces by drawing creatives on violence against women and child, early and forced marriage. They have taken out rallies against alcoholism and pasted posters on the walls of the community.
Gitanjali now works as the Gram Panchayat Coordinator of M. Rampur Panchayat and is our champion.
We celebrate her leadership and salute her for her courageous initiatives for gender equality.
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