Women's Day: Here are the 7 women who handled PM Modi's social media accounts

Last Updated 08 March 2020, 14:18 IST

From a young girl who lost both her hands at the age of 13 and still went on to earn his Ph.D to an elderly mason who collected money on the streets of Kanpur to set up a 55 seat latrine block and two overhead tanks at a slum – Prime Minister Narendra Modi's social media handle was taken over by seven women achievers to tell their astounding stories to the world.

Disability activist, Malavika Iyer lost her hands in a bomb blast in Bikaner when she was 13. Her legs were also damaged. But she never gave up and scored 97% at the 10th grade board examination that she wrote with the help of a writer.

“Giving up is never an option. Forget your limitations and take on the world with confidence and hope,” she tweeted using the Prime Minister's twitter handle @narendramdi

Kanpur's Kalavati Devi personifies the attitude of never giving up. “We lived like insects in the filth in our slum. It took me one-two years to convince people on the need to build toilets. The money was collected from small personal donations people made and in the second year we set up a toilet block with 55 seats and two overhead tanks, each with a capacity of 11,000 litres,” she narrated.

A driving force in reducing open defecation, Kalavati is responsible for building more than 4,000 toilets in villages in and around Kanpur.

A winner of Nari Shakti Puraskar (women empowerment award), she shared her experience with the Prime Minister Modi on how she went from door to door to create awareness about the ills of open defecation and how she travelled for hours across Kanpur in her effort towards reducing open defecation.

Incidentally, three of the seven people who took over the Modi's social media accounts are also the recipients of this year's award. Besides Kalavati, other two are Arifa Jan of Jammu and Kashmir and Bina Devi from Munger in Bihar.

Founder of Numdha Handicrafts, Arifa revived the lost art as she trained 100 plus women to revive the dying art of Numdha handicraft while Bina Devi, fondly known as ‘Mushroom Mahila, popularised farming of mushrooms even in tiny space.

To deal with the problem of lack of space, Bina Devi thought out of the box and grew the crop under her bed. “Everything can be achieved by will. My real recognition came from cultivating one kilo of mushrooms under the bed. This not only made me self-sufficient, but gave a new life by increasing my confidence,” she said in a video tweeted from Modi's handle.

The other three women who used Modi's social media accounts are water activist Kalpana Ramesh, Foodbank India founder Sneha Mohandas and Maharashtra's Vijaya Pawar who promote handicraft from the Banjara community.

A week back Modi shocked the world when he announced giving up his social media accounts. A day later, the Prime Minister clarified that he would permit a handful of women achievers to run his twitter handle for a day to mark International Women's Day.

(Published 08 March 2020, 12:12 IST)

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