All of us have our shortcomings, in one way or another but that’s what it makes us human. If one knew how to work upon those, we can always achieve more than our capabilities. History is never remembered by one’s physical abilities but their achievement and what they offer to the world to look upon for years.
Another marvellous soul is Sudha Patel whose world might be carbon black but she makes sure that the people in her village have a life as bright and colourful as a rainbow. Sudha, who is in her early 40s, is the youngest elected sarpanch of Changa village of Petlad taluka in Anand.
Every day, she walks down the pathway that she remembers very clearly, the one that reaches Changa’s panchayat office. Even though she is visually-impaired, she recognizes every villager from their voice and does every possible thing to solve their plight.
Proving her capabilities
Sudha’s father was a sarpanch for 10 years and her mother is a home-maker. Her sister, who is visually-impaired, too, is a college student. Her family owns a food business. Initially, people of her village overlooked her capabilities. For them, Sudha was just a woman without sight. But when Sudha painted the picture of how infrastructural developed can transform Changa, they all started believing in her.
“Initially, it was difficult for a visually-impaired girl like me to become a sarpanch in a village with a traditional mindset. I had just finished my college at that time. People used to underestimate my ability until I proved myself by establishing Changa as one of the finest infrastructurally developed village,” she said to DNA India.
Changing the fate of Changa
During her sarpanch campaign, Sudha didn’t make any promise to the villagers. All she asked from them was to have faith in her and her work. Over the years, she has installed various water pumps, opened schools for children of working class, and also installed borewells.
With her own initiative, she had rented eight lakes of her village for creating income up to Rs 8 lakh for Changa. The village, that has 10,000 people, has good hospitals, conference halls, and every person is educated till STD 10. Sudha has also made sure that every school has computers.
“My parents also had to bear criticism because I was born visually-impaired. But I am happy that I could prove everyone wrong and have achievements to show,” she said.
Working for physically-challenged children
Sudha is now financially independent and works as a project coordinator in a private trust in Anand that works for the welfare of physically challenged children. It gives her a great sense of satisfaction. She is often criticised for her personality but her work speaks in volume. She wishes to join politics to bring a change in the system.
For her exemplary work, Sudha was awarded with Ten Outstanding Young Persons of World in Hawaii. She also received Outstanding Woman Panchayat leader of India. “More than 10,000 people from all over the world were there and I missed the emotions, I wanted to share my feelings with them and see them,” she said.
Although she has achieved so much, Sudha misses reading and being able to do things by herself. She has also written various poems on themes such as ills of tobacco, selfish human values, love, peace, and violence.
Sudha is a vivacious woman and role model to every single of us, that despite our shortcoming, we still can achieve greatness only if one has the will to succeed. Her selfless work for the people of her village is worth all the appreciation. Our country needs leaders like her who put their duties and responsibilities before themselves.
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