Ekati Sanstha, Kolhapur
Vanita is a strong believer in hard work, commitment, and people-led advocacy. She is advancing gender equity through her work with women waste pickers and by enabling more girls to pursue their education. As a project coordinator, Vanita organizes women and girls, generates awareness about their needs, and teaches them to raise their voices for their rights. After she learned about the rights and entitlements of waste pickers and the government guidelines for municipal corporations, she helped waste picker women demand the identity cards they need to access entitlements and services, including subsidized food and medical care. She successfully led an initiative to get cards for 500 ragpicker woman. Vanita also trains waste pickers on green business concepts and conducts sessions with adolescent boys on gender equity. For Vanita, leadership means empowering people to be able to independently access their rights and entitlements.
Rise Up Cohort: India 2019