Determined to make a difference
WWSF Global Newsletter No 10-July 2001
Ratni Bai Khatik (28) has been awarded the ‘Prize for Women Creativity in Rural Life 2001’ by
Ratni Bai Khatik, from a backward caste and being a girl, did not receive an education but was instead married at 13, She soon left her husband, however, who was of an immoral character, and went back to live with her parents Ratni Bai attended a meeting held by the Centre for Human Development (CUTS) and expressed her desire to collaborate in projects in Keer Kheda (Chittorgarh District, Rajasthan State). Her first initiative was to create a school for the children of her village taking advantage of a government announcement of opportunities to open self-governing schools. Her careful monitoring during construction of the school ensured that it is the only school in the area with a proper construction. She visited parents to motivate them to send their children, especially girls, to school functions. Ratni disseminated education on health and on the environment with the result that people now boil or filter their drinking water and take care to preserve this resource. Thanks to her efforts, health personnel pay more frequent visits to the village, and medicines are made available in a timely manner. She has also formed self-help groups for income generating activities and helped them obtain credit from the bank. Ratni Bai has become a public figure who villagers and even government officials consult.