Features Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute| September 18, 2014| 10.00 am IST Thirty one year old Neelam is the sarpanch of the panchayat in Chappar village in Jind district of Haryana. In a state that has been in news many times for its skewed gender ratio and khap panchayats, Neelam is one among those who believe a woman can make a difference in another woman’s life.  In a video uploaded by Youtube channel Sorted TV, Neelam speaks about how the change in mindset has been gradual, but consistent. “I wanted to serve the villagers, ensure my village is developed and that is what I became a sarpanch. There is so much change now that people have started distributing sweets when a girl child is born. Many women in my village have stopped wearing the ghoonghat (veil),” Neelam says. Neelam had started her battle against the veil, an old tradition in the Jat dominated Haryana, some months ago. She did face much resistance, even from women, but seems satisfied that there has been some change. A woman talks to the camera shyly in the video and says, “We don’t wear ghoonghat any more.” Hear Neelam talk about how she dreams of educating all children in her village.

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