THE BIBIPUR model of women empowerment and village development — under which houses and streets were named after daughters to fight gender bias — will now be implemented in as many as 100 villages of Haryana adopted by the President of India.
Rashtrapati Bhavan has asked former village sarpanch of Bibipur in Hisar district, Sunil Jaglan — who had introduced the Selfie with Daughter concept, which was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 — to implement the model at these villages.
Niranjan Kumar Sudhansu, Director at the President’s Secretariat, in a letter on May 16, has asked Jaglan to work in these villages to raise awareness on women’s empowerment and social issues. In the letter, Sudhanshu has expressed hope that Jaglan’s involvement would turn these villages into development models.
In July 2016, Rashtrapati Bhavan had adopted five villages to turn them into smart villages and in February, this year, the number of such villages increased to 50 before finally taking this number to 100 on May 1, this year. Under the smart village initiative, many government and private organisations and villagers worked in coordination with Rashtrapati Bhavan in areas like education, health and energy.
Happy with the offer, Jaglan, 34, said, “I want to work for such an awareness campaign across the country. I believe that women’s empowerment can lead to fast rural development.”
Jaglan, who was the sarpanch of Bibipur from 2010 to 2015, first came to limelight in July 2012 when he managed to bring leaders of over 100 khaps on to one platform to take a pledge to fight female foeticide. Then, Jaglan, an MSc in mathematics, also encouraged women to attend meetings of women gram sabhas.
Under his leadership, the village panchayat decided that the women gram sabha would decide the use of 50 per cent funds it gets from the government for development work. It was a unique initiative in a state known for gender bias and patriarchal set-up of society. During 2012-2015, the village panchayat, headed by Jaglan, won awards over Rs 1.25 crore. The village won Rs 1 crore award from the state government in 2012 and Rs 10 lakh award from the Centre in 2013 for effectively launching Save the Girl Child Campaign in 2012.
Later, the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj selected Bibipur for the Rs 15 lakh cash award under Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan for empowerment of gram sabha in 2014.