Chhavi Rajawat

By
A look at the contemporarily-dressed, in her mid-thirties, Chhavi Rajawat leaves all in disbelief when she is introduced as the head of a village.

An MBA graduate, Chhavi ditched her corporate career with one of the country's biggest telecom firms to become the youngest sarpanch and has been dedicated ever since to bring better water, solar power, paved roads, toilets and a bank to her ancestral village - Soda, located in a remote corner of Rajasthan.

Chhavi became the sarpanch or elected village head three years ago after villagers implored her to take charge with dozens turning up at her home in Jaipur to persuade her. But things had never been easy. Refusing to give bribes to get jobs done, her projects were repeatedly denied funding and government support. But this didn't hinder her motives. She raised money from friends, family and companies to fund many of her projects.

Representing India at the 11th UN Info-Poverty World Conference, Chhavi hopes her example will inspire other educated young people to take time out to serve their communities.