Rahibai Soma Popere, aged 53 years living in Kombhalne village at Ahmednagar, Maharashtra was one of the chosen women for the inspiring Nari Shakti Award by Government of India. She was married at the age of 13 years and settled in same village. She has not received any formal education from school in her childhood but had a strong desire to do something for the society and for her family. She lives with her husband, has three sons a daughter; all are married and settled in different locations. All her children are involved in farming. One of her son is a Photographer and earns little income from his profession. Rahibai’s family does seasonal farming because of lack of irrigational facilities in her village. There is no other source of income to her family except meager income through farming.
There is only one government sub center at Poperwadi village which provides health care for local people. Presently HelpAge India’s MHU operates at Poperwadi village which offers extremely useful healthcare service for the locals at the last mile, right at their door step. Rahibai is taking health treatment since 4 years for back ache, burning feet, joint pain, renal colic, acute respiratory infection and giddiness. Our MHU service was very much helpful for Mrs Rahibai and her family members. Today she is active in the family and supports to her family members in all possible way, so much so, that her brilliantly inspirational service to the community has won her a national honor! HelpAge India takes extreme pride in Rahibai’s achievement!
She has initiated two Self Help Groups (SHGS) for women. One of them is Chemdevbaba Women’s Self Help Group & other one is Mangalnath Baba Women’s Self Help Group. Both SHGs have 12 members each and actively organize various social activities. These SHGs started agro based activities and one of them is to preserve the traditional agricultural seeds (Seed Bank). This initiative proved much beneficial in agricultural sector and for local government agencies.
There are 114 varieties of seeds available in Mrs Rahibai’s home. All these are Gavran seeds (Traditional Seeds). Most of the farmers nowadays are involved in chemical based fertilizer farming and traditional varieties of seeds are losing relevance in the markets and farming communities. In this scenario Rahibai’s initiative of establishing seed bank was much appreciated by various key stakeholders and leaders of the community.
In order to recognize Rahibai Soma Popere’s work in agriculture sector and in Women SHGs including Seed Bank in Kombhalne village in Akole Taluka of Ahmednagar, the District administration recommended her name to be felicitated with “ Narishakti “ Award from Honorable President of India Shri Ramnath Kovind on the occasion of “International Women’s Day 2019”. She received the honor from the President of India and also had the opportunity to discuss her initiatives with him.
HelpAge India warmly congratulates Rahibai Soma Popere for this big achievement and also salutes Khirwire Mobile Healthcare team who made sure for all these years her health was taken care of, with help of free medicines and treatment so that she could carry on some path-breaking work for India’s farming sector.
HelpAge India salutes the power of this phenomenal woman this International Women’s Day 2019 (#IWD2019)