The Evolution of Jyotsna Mohanta: From DISHA Training Participant to Pioneer of a Mini Aanganwadi

The Evolution of Jyotsna Mohanta: From DISHA Training Participant to Pioneer of a Mini Aanganwadi

Tata Steel Foundation’s Initiative in Women’s Empowerment 

Sukinda: Jyotsna Mohanta, a resident of the picturesque Kharkhari village nestled within the verdant landscapes of Maruabil Panchayat, found herself at a crossroads during a transformative moment in 2022. Amidst the humdrum of routine self-help group (SHG) meetings, an invitation extended by the Tata Steel Foundation’s Disha Training program sparked a flame of inspiration within her. Tethered to the confines of household responsibilities, she yearned for a chance to transcend these boundaries and contribute meaningfully to her community.

It was during one of these SHG gatherings that Jyotsna’s keen eye discerned a pressing issue afflicting the children of her village. The arduous journey to the Anganwadi center in Ragda village, situated a cumbersome 4 kilometers away, posed a formidable obstacle for these young souls. Compounding the challenge was the clash between the timing of this commute and the indispensable livelihood activities of their families, resulting in dismal attendance rates at the Ragda Anganwadi.

Undeterred by the magnitude of the task at hand, Jyotsna, in collaboration with her fellow SHG comrades, embarked on a quest for a solution. Their inquiries led them to the Mission Shakti SHGs, who were entrusted with the responsibility of providing mid-day meal services. Recognizing an opportunity to address the dire need for localized childcare facilities, they resolved to establish a mini Anganwadi within the confines of Kharkhari village.

Armed with determination and fortified by the support of the local administrative apparatus, Jyotsna’s SHG, affectionately known as Maa Bhabani SHG, assumed the mantle of responsibility for this noble endeavor. Thus, the inception of the mini Anganwadi marked a pivotal moment in the annals of Kharkhari’s history, symbolizing the triumph of community-driven initiatives over adversity.

Today, the mini Anganwadi stands as a beacon of hope, catering to the holistic needs of children aged 0 to 5 with tailored rations and nutritious meals. A total of nine children, ranging from tender infants to inquisitive toddlers, bask in the nurturing environment fostered within its walls. For Jyotsna, the sight of these youngsters diligently tracing letters and alphabets on their slates with chalk evokes a profound sense of fulfillment—a testament to her unwavering commitment to ensuring every child receives their rightful entitlement to governmental provisions.

Though still in its nascent stages, the mini Anganwadi serves as a testament to Jyotsna’s indomitable spirit and her SHG’s unwavering resolve. Their proactive approach to addressing local challenges exemplifies the transformative power of grassroots initiatives, affirming the adage that even the smallest acts of kindness can precipitate monumental change within communities.