Highly Educated Muslim Young Girl Became Sarpanch| Women Empowerments|


Dr. Shahnaz Khan: A highly educated woman from a backward village in Mewat, Rajasthan, became *Sarpanch.

On 5th March 2018, after passing out the MBBS degree, she participated in the Election and won; and became the Sarpanch just at the age of 24 years. She is the first-ever highly educated woman Sarpanch in her constituency. Shahnaaz Khan has created history by becoming a Sarpanch. She was elected as the Sarpanch of Kaman gram panchayat, which falls in the Meo-dominated area of Bharatpur district. Shahnaaz achieved another feat by becoming the fourth generation member of her family to enter politics.

About Shahnaz Khan:

Shahnaz Khan was born in the small village of Mewat in Rajasthan. The Mewat region is spread in two states,  Rajasthan and Haryana. It is a backward area regarding infrastructure — education, health, and economics.

A family history of Shahnaz Khan:

Shahnaz Khan is the daughter of a Congress leader. Her paternal grandfather Hanif Khan has been the Sarpanch for 40 years. Tayyab Husain, her maternal grandfather(Father of Zaida Khan), was the only politician in India to be elected as an MLA from 3 states:  Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab. Zayda Khan, her mother, was the first Meo Muslim woman to become an MLA from the Kaman constituency in the district. Shahnaz Khan claimed that the post of Sarpanch was earlier held by her grandfather Hanif Khan for the last four decades. While her father, Jalees Khan, was Kaman pradhan (head of block-level panchayat body).

About the status of her constituency:

During study at the Medical College, she visits the village on summer vacation. But, she was not aware of the problems in her rural area. People at Mewat, the native of She, were so conservative that no girls were allowed to go out, and having an education was rare because most people were uneducated. As a result, the criminality in the area was higher.

Why did she decide to join politics?

Shahnaz was lucky enough to have a higher education because her grandfather was the former Sarpanch. So as an exception, she got higher education. Whenever she visits the native, she gradually becomes aware of the backwardness of her native place through her grandfather, father, and friends. She understood the necessity of social welfare/reforming activity in her area, especially for the girls.
Therefore, she decided to start social welfare activity and reformation to the extent of her capacity. People advised Shahnaz Khan to participate in the upcoming Election of the Sarpanch. She understands that being a Sarpanch, she can do faster reformation.

So she participated and won the Election on 5th March 2018 and became the Sarpanch of Kaman Gram Panchayat of Bharatpur District. Villagers had elected the young girl, merely 24 years old and a medical student of Teerthanker Mahaveer Medical College and Research Center in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, as their Sarpanch. After that, she took many courageous steps. What are the steps?


The welcare activities of Shahnaz Kan:

She has primarily focused on education for girls, their sanitation and health problems, and Government Welfare Schemes for women. As Shahnaaz Khan herself was well educated, she knew the importance and necessity of education for all, including girls. So, inspired by the slogan of PM, Shri Narendra Modi - "Beti Padhao and Beti Bachao" - she started reformation for education and set many projects for electricity, water conservation, health, and cleanliness.

Her future plan.

(as on March 2018) She will join an internship at Civil Hospital in Gurgaon and plan to further study for a postgraduate course. She is determined to complete her study and the reformation of the community. When asked how she would balance her upcoming MBBS internship and the responsibilities of a Sarpanch, Shahnaaz, who is pursuing her degree from a medical college in Moradabad, replied - I will do my internship from Gurugram which is a 90-minute journey from my village. This makes it possible for me to spare time for the people of my constituency on weekends and in the morning and evening hours.

What Shahnaz Khan said:

"People in the Mewat area don't send their daughters to schools. I want to present my example before them to show what education can do for a woman,"
“The literacy level of women in my constituency is much poor. I want to see all girls go to schools and bring the enrolment of girls equal to boys. Engaging community leaders and elders are also on top of my priority list to create an integrated environment for change,”

-Shahnaaz Khan.

Read more in the following links:

Relative video:

*What is Sarpanch?
Sarpanch is an elected head of a village-level statutory institution called the Gram Panchayat (village committee).


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