Pledged To Create A Safer City, Bharti Singh Chauhan Is Jaipur’s Superwoman
- IWB Post
- January 4, 2017
Bharti Singh Chauhan is making a huge difference in the lives of many women and men through her Jaipur-based NGO, Praveen Lata Sansthan. A professional as a career choice, she is a social activist by passion and compassion.
Bharti works at Vodafone, Jaipur and has also earned the title of ‘World of Difference Ambassador’ at Vodafone Foundation India for her contribution to the society. She is also the ‘State Chairperson’ of All Ladies League and the ‘Rajasthan Ambassador’ of International Girl Rising which is a Michelle Obama-led initiative.
The President of India also felicitated Bharti as one of the #100WomenAchievers of India.
In an exclusive conversation with JWB, Bharti talked about the issues plaguing the rural India, importance of education, her organization’s campaigns and much more.
“Initially, my family was very well-to-do. But, one incident changed everything. My brother met with an accident and was handicapped for life. We suffered the great financial loss. There was no money for my education. However, my mother knew the importance of education as she was uneducated herself which is why she wanted me to study and become independent. It wasn’t easy. I took up jobs like stitching, putting mehndi, selling lingerie, etc., to deposit my fees and somehow completed my education.”
“The hardships I went through in my initial years sensitized me towards other people. I started contributing through one way or the other towards the society. I got associated with many NGOs and offered services for the benefit of the underprivileged.”
Praveen Lata Sansthan
Bharti took her social work further and set-up her NGO three years back.
“I have been doing social work for many years. But, in 2012, I lost my mother, Lata, and my mother-in-law, Praveen, and in their memory, I decided to take my cause further. I set up Praveen Lata Sansthan so I could offer more services to the needy.”
Praveen Lata Sansthan is working for Child Welfare, Women Empowerment and Rural Development across Rajasthan.
“My main aim is to make Rajasthan a safer state. And, I believe it can only happen when women are educated and empowered, plus the men, too, understand the importance of supporting the women of their life. This is why I also run campaigns for men, especially, young boys.”
“Respect S.H.E. (Solicitude for Her Esteem) was focused on encouraging men and boys to provide the needed support to the women in their lives so they can rise to their potential. The men are sensitized towards the need of a woman and how it can uplift the society altogether.”
Praveen Lata Sansthan also conducts safety workshops for adolescent girls. They have also established a Laadli Community Centre and in three months of operation, it has already registered over 80 girls.
“Laadli Community Centre was created to bridge the gap between the education and girls. The girls who drop out from the school due to various reasons are educated and trained in various skills like computer learning, stitching, etc.”
Bharti: *laughs* That’s the first question people ask me. And, I tell all of them just one thing: It’s the passion and commitment of a person towards something. And, this is my passion. I have a 7-year-old son, and I make sure that I spend maximum time with him. So, it’s all about managing your time efficiently. And, of course, it’s my husband who has been with me at every step. He’s my backbone. In my case, I have to revert the famous saying, “Behind every successful woman is a man.”
Me: How do you fund your campaigns and project? Do you have any governmental support?
Bharti: No! Till now, we have been funding the NGO and our campaigns through chipping in a portion of my husband’s and my salary. Jaipur Marathon is the only platform through which we have generated funds from outside. We are operating on the volunteering basis.
Me: Today, everyone’s talking about women empowerment and organize women oriented campaigns, and probably you are the very few who are also incorporating men into your campaigns, like Respect S.H.E. How did the idea come up?
Bharti: This concept was also suggested by my husband. One day, I came home very upset because of a case. A young girl was beaten severely by her cousin and no one, not even her own parents said anything in the matter. They wanted to suppress the whole issue as they believed the boy did it unintentionally. I was so furious. When I discussed this with my husband, he said ‘Why don’t we start with changing the mindset of men towards women?’
I see so many men and boys who will respect their mothers and sisters but will disrespect their wives and vice versa. Or, the boys might respect the women in their lives but will eye other women with lust, disgust or disrespect. So, we first need to change their mindset towards women as a community constructively.
Bharti: Lack of Education and the conditioning of the mothers. We tell everyone not to discriminate, but the fact is that bias and discrimination start from your own home. And, it’s not just in the rural areas but in the urban sections of the society, too. It’s the mothers who discriminate between their son and daughter. They will teach their daughters everything, and would hand-feed her son and make him unworthy. We are a country of culture, and we imbibe values and morals from our elders. So, it is imperative that from the early age, we inculcate the right values. And, I believe, Education is the only tool that shall ensure girls to be independent which will help them realize their own importance.
It is through people like Bharti Singh that the world understands the true meaning of compassion and kindness. JWB applauds her dedication towards upliftment of the society.
P.S. You, too, can volunteer at Praveen Lata Sansthan and contribute your bit to the society. Contact Bharti Singh Chauhan on +91 9828096801.
This article was published on September 2nd, 2016.