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30 Mar 2021

Recognition of Women Change Agent


Seva Mandir preschool (Balwadi) teacher, Mrs. Sonia Pargi from village Dewas, Jhadol, was recognized on March 3rd by the Apollo Tyres Foundation as a Change Agent for outstanding contribution toward women’s empowerment initiatives in the EK Naam Campaign.

To encourage the participation of women in the workforce, Apollo Tyres initiated the EK Naam Campaign in 2019 to celebrate the success of women achievers, who are deemed Change Agents based on the scope of their intervention in the community, providing livelihood opportunities to more women and/or bringing social change in their community. This year's award focused on women who decided to challenge societal norms, overcome their own fears and venture out into the male-dominated society to effect change.

Sonia Pargi is 32 years old and joined Seva Mandir in 2009 after attending a committee meeting on the construction of water harvesting structures. In March of that year, she started the first Seva Mandir pre-school center in her village. She also served as Ward Panch (representative of the local government in India) from 2015 to 2020. In this role, she worked on various aspects of community development, including forest land encroachment protection, ensuring pensions for senior citizens (70 widows), nurturing 70 rural housing projects and enhancing access to clean drinking water. She motivated 800 women to participate in savings programs.

Her efforts resulted in the government construction of a water tank for safe and easy access to water for 450 families in the village. She supported the local council in removing private encroachments on the forest land in her village and led the distribution of food kits in eight hamlets of her village during COVID-19. For her, the greatest accomplishment was to bring women on the ‘Jajam’ (council carpet) as equal citizens. Sonia is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree from a private college







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