Training and exposure sessions by TCSRD sparked Rajbai’s leadership skills and inspired her to become a social worker supporting needy women
Rajbai Lalabha Vagha is the president of Jyoti Mahila Mandal self-help group (SHG) of Devpara in Gujarat. She is known for her leadership qualities in society. Illiterate when starting the group in 2000, she attended all the training sessions and the exposure visits organised by the Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD). Consequently, the savings per member per month of the SHG has increased from Rs10 to Rs100.
The group, which initially used to conduct activities only to encourage savings and thrift, has now widened its scope of activities. Under Rajbai’s leadership, the SHG runs a swachhta (cleanliness) programme in the village. The SHG has helped in various activities such as the construction of a gaushala (cowshed), the setting up of a drinking water connection, providing health care services to pregnant women, solving domestic violence issues, helping members get ration cards and making people aware of government schemes.
The group also supported the training of women on bandhani art form, the knowledge of which has helped them make a livelihood out of bandhani work. Rajbai runs her garment business that requires her to travel to other places for getting orders and purchasing materials. Today, she is known as a social worker who provides a helping hand to all needy women. She represents her group and community in different forums organised by the government.