Rekha Patel, Community Facilitator
Location: Begusarai, Bihar, India
Rekha Patel, Community Facilitator, Begusarai, is a widow and led a difficult life subjected to social pressures and norms. In 2012, community mobilization began in her slum and she was asked to participate in the infrastructure mapping exercise. While her contribution was negligible, she enjoyed the process of mobilization and decided that she would pursue this. Rekha overcame resistance from her family and in just one year, became a champion of all development activities in her slum. In 2015, Rekha was appointed as a Community Facilitator and formed 36 SHGs and facilitated the construction of 300 toilets in 5 slums through SVS.
“I feel so happy that I and other women like me are now in a position to dialogue with any man – be it a slum dweller, a highly respected person like a Mayor or the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation – we have all learned to raise our voice against atrocities and fight for our rights.”