Once a child bride now Padma Shri winner - Fusion - WeRIndia

Once a child bride, now winner of Padma Shri

Once a child bride, now winner of Padma Shri

The story of Phoolbasan Bai Yadav is inspiring and empowering to many people especially women. She was born in Sukuldaihan, a remote village in the district of Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh on 5 December, in 1969. At the young age of 10, she had a child marriage to a cattle herder.

Even from such a young age, she and her husband lived through severe poverty because of illiteracy and lack of employment opportunities. However, no external problem slowed down Phoolbasan’s heart and spirit. Her hardships motivated her to take strong action.

Phoolbasan wanted to have a better life for herself and her family. So, she started looking for ways. Opportunity came from the activities of self-help groups in her locality. These self-help groups aim at empowering women in such areas. The group in her village collected money to help women participate in a cattle rearing scheme.

Phoolbasan says that before that, her family used to have countless days and nights without any food. Her pain of hunger and poverty made her vow to herself to not just improve herself but also everyone around her. She says that the huge number of people living like her motivated her a lot.

After joining, the self-help groups she started participating in more activities. She formed her own groups, including ‘Pragya Mahila Samooh’, ‘Kiraya Bhandar’ and ‘Bazar Theka.’ She worked to establish fair-price ration shops for the distribution of food for those below the poverty line.

She consolidated various groups under the Maan Bamleshwari Janhit Kare Samiti, an NGO named after Goddess Durga. She has done many deeds with the NGO. Her success with self-help groups even helped her get Rs. 900 crore from NABARD to use for different women’s groups of Rajnandgaon District, for self-employment. She was awarded many awards including the Jamnalal Bajaj Award, in category for Development and Welfare of Women and Children.

Image Reference: TheBetterIndia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *