For most of us, our early 20s are the golden phase of our life, defined by fun filled college life, close friends, zero worries and boundless opportunities. But there are some rather choose become the agents of change in the society. Meet Jabna Chauhan from Himachal Pradesh, who took up the reigns of her village Tharjun in Mandi district at the age of 22 and has been working relentlessly as a sarpanch to transform it.

She was giving an insight into her journey at the iInspire event organized by BeyonDiversity Foundation in Delhi.

Here are ten things to know about her journey

  1. Her father is a farmer. However, his limited income became a barrier to Jabna’s education after she passed Class 12. She has a visually impaired brother and a sister.

  2. She revealed that is also working as a journalist and not only tries to focus on the problems of marginalized communities in her village but also makes sure that these problems reach the authorities and get solved. Within a year she became famous in Mandi, working effectively against gender bias and social atrocities and other women’s issues.

  3. She had never anticipated to be a politician at the first place. In fact she used to wonder who would vote for her. It was the deputy commissioner of her area who encouraged her to contest for elections seeing her passion for bringing a change. She also took it as an opportunity to do something for the state. She explained how girls are not made pradhan in her state and is happy to be an exception.
  4.  After winning the election, Jabna says she began to highlight the ill effects of alcohol and tobacco. It was difficult for her to stop men from consuming alcohol. She shared how she would repeatedly face resistance from the city’s elders who would belittle her considering her age and experience. During her stint, she led a delegation from Tharjun Panchayat to submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner for closing liquor vendors in the area. Her efforts bore fruit when a lot of districts banned alcohol, she said.
  5. She opined that besides keeping our surroundings clean, we should also try to keep our thoughts and our character clean.

  6. According to her, women empowerment can be achieved only when women’s participation in law-making bodies increases because only women can make laws that benefit other women and elevate them.

  7. Her paternal uncle has been a strong pillar of support throughout her journey.

  8. According to Jabna, her determination to succeed and strive to contribute to the society has made many families in the area permit their daughters to complete their schooling and attend college. She bubbled with pride talking about the gratitude they express towards her.

  9.  She revealed that she was honoured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of International Women’s Day and also  received praise from Akshay Kumar during Toilet-Ek Prem Katha promotions for her Swachh Bharat initiatives.

  1. “In the future, I want to keep working in Panchayat and also want to take my NGO promoting women empowerment forward”, she told SheThePeople.TV