Fulmatai Dayaram Belsare
Fulmatai Dayaram Belsare is the first woman sarpanch representing the Jambhli grampanchayat of Jamunnala village of Maharashtra. A member of Korku tribe, she is a true representation of a woman’s ability to make a difference to the society by spinning the wheels of change!
Fulmatai started her life as a destitute laborer on irrigation projects, roads and farms. She married Dayram Belsare at the age of 16 years and had four children. Her father-in-law was a village Panchayat member himself, which gave her the inspiration to work for the society, especially for rural women. Her first initiative was to bring rural women together and create sources of income for themselves and their families. She formed Ambatai Bachat Gar All Woman Self Help group that indulged in small business ventures like making candles, catering etc. This group helped several women in the village earn respectable income to support their husband for running the household. The success of Fulmatai’s group motivated other women from neighboring villages to form similar self-help groups.
Fulmatai’s popularity lead her to become the sarpanch of Jamunnala village. After coming into power, she took up many incomplete projects of the village. She got the roads concretized, and ensured proper sewage facilities. She pursued the task of getting water tank constructed in her village with the higher authorities. She became the medium of communication between government and villagers, and helped the villagers understand government policies in a simple manner.
Her hard work has beared fruit. Today, Fulmatai is the chairman of education committee with the district council. She is now trying to bring about a change in the education system with the help of headmasters of schools in her region. For women like Fulmatai, it’s a continuous quest to make a difference to the lives of as many people. After all, every drop contributes to the vast expanse of an ocean !