Founder + Secretary – Sadhana Institute for Sustainable Development
Pune, Maharashtra – India
Savita grew up in and has been working in cantonments, which are former Army areas created by the British that don’t have the same bodies and governance as the rest of India. Her grandfather started the schools in her cantonment, where she studied psychology and worked in different areas of community development. There is supposed to be a Cantonment board, but no one understands their rights and responsibilities. The denial of rights in the areas has been unconstitutional, yet, no one is willing to address the issues because they lie in the purview of the Cantonment board. Advocacy has been challenging in this context. There are slums within cantonment areas who are the children of the domestic and other ‘help’ that were brought in to service the British and army officers. This is a little-understood population.
Savita collects data while dealing with a deep sense of fear about speaking up or getting involved in learning about rights amongst the members of her community. Savita’s work has made the ICDS (Integrated Child Development service Scheme) accessible to the people of the cantonment and enabled the establishment of ‘Anganwadi’s’ (daycare and malnutrition centers).
Rise Up Cohort: CIP India – 2018