The first woman parliamentarian from Telangana, Kavitha Kalvakuntla, joined politics to continue the legacy of her father and Telangana Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao, better known as KCR. While she is taking measured steps as a politician, she lives life on her own terms. “It is a tight rope walk. If I err, I would set a bad example. If I cannot add value to my father’s legacy, I definitely do not want to damage anything,” the lone female face of Telangana Rashtra Samithi told The Week.

It was only when the state of Andhra Pradesh was divided into two halves that Kavitha took interest in politics or else, she would have remained a homemaker. For starters, she founded an NGO, Telangana Jagruthi, but soon realized that to make a mark in society, she needed to become a politician.

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Before joining politics, Kavitha studied engineering and also worked in the US before returning to India to start her family life. She graduated in B.Tech from Vallurupalli Nageswara Rao Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology & MS in Computer Science from the University of Southern Mississippi. After that, she worked as a software engineer in the USA before returning to India in 2004.

Her political career’s highlight is the revival of the cultural celebrations of a festival called Bathukamma

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After returning from the US, she got married. She would have adjusted herself into the homely environment until she saw the state of poverty people lived in. It happened when a young woman asked her to arrange for Rs 1,000. That’s when Kavitha realized the reality around her and started working for the state’s women. She also travelled across Telangana to understand the issues of partition and women better.

Her political career’s highlight is the revival of the cultural celebrations of a festival called Bathukamma for the past decade. It is a nine-day celebration with flowers used to make Bathukamma. It is celebrated predominantly by the Hindu women of Telangana.

Kavitha worked for a  decade through Telangana Jagruthi to arrange organized celebrations of Bathukamma in Telangana and globally. Now, over 30 countries celebrate Bathukamma.

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