Women's development is imperative for the growth of a society. Abiding by this school of thought, a village nestled in Punjab's Bathinda is pushing its women to pursue higher education and participate in the functioning of Panchayat.
Also, to boost the idea of women empowerment, several streets of Himmatpura village have been named after women.
Himmatpura in Bathinda has a population of 350 people. This tiny hamlet with the fifth lowest sex ratio in the state has undertaken the responsibility to help their daughters to have a bright future.
Interestingly, nameplate on the door of every house carries the name of a female member of the family. Women's names have been put before their husband's name on the nameplates. The step has been taken to give a message that both men and women share equal space in society.
"Both boys and girls are getting full support of their families. This year, we had arranged a special Lohri function for the women. Several streets have been named after elder women of the village. We are happy that all villagers are taking the initiative to push women to do well in every sector," villager Malkeet Singh told ANI.
Last year, one of the Panchayat members, Roop Singh, contributed Rs 10,000 to prepare around 60 nameplates, one for each house of the village.
"We took the initiative after realising that the female sex ratio is gradually decreasing in our village. Nameplates are just a small effort to bring change in women's lives. We are fully supporting our daughters to pursue higher education even if they want to study outside the village. We want them to be independent and self-reliant," Roop Singh said.
The panchayat also maintains a corpus fund for females. Panchayat gives Rs 5,100 to every girl of the village to support their marriage and Rs 1,100 to the family on the birth of a girl child. Also, the girls who perform well in academics and co-circular activities are awarded by the Panchayat.
"I am proud of my village as it has set an example for others. All men here believe in the slogan of "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao". Several steps have been taken for the betterment of girls. Be it education, dance or sports, we get full support from our families," 15-year-old Harsimrat said.
The village was carved out of Mehraj in 1997 and since then, it has not witnessed any election to elect Panchayat. The decision has been taken unanimously and it is mandatory to have two men and two women in the Panchayat.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)