For Sneha Mohandoss, who cooks for the underprivileged, the impetus to take her venture forward arrived in the form of a social media account on the occasion of International Women’s Day on Sunday. She is one of the seven women chosen by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take charge of his social media handle for the day.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Mohandoss gave an account of what she says was the most memorable day of her life, when she received the call that landed her among the chosen ones. Mohandoss said she received the call three days before women’s day.
“My husband and the volunteers decided to send the details of my contribution. I did not even know about it. I got a call three days ago and I was so excited. Even then, I wasn’t able to believe that I would be handling the Prime Minister’s Twitter account today,” said Mohandoss.
Mohandoss, who is currently based in Chennai, started her initiative Foodbank India in 2015 with the simple concept of fighting hunger. She, along with her set of volunteers, started to cook extra meals every day to ensure the underprivileged ate hot meals. She also decided to organise mass cooking for the needy once a month.
“Using the Prime Minister’s Twitter account to talk about my NGO is the biggest opportunity. We have been doing this for five years now, but not many know about us. But now, I think many will be inspired. We are trying to expand to other cities and are aiming at including new chapters to our organisation. I hope with the reach we have through Modi, we will be able to achieve our goals,” Mohandoss added.
She said that there are challenges her team faces in terms of infrastructure and vehicles for food delivery. She hopes to meet Tamil Nadu government officials to seek their support in tackling these challenges.
Apart from Sneha, six other women achievers have been provided the opportunity to handle the Prime Minister’s official social media handles on the occasion of women’s day.
From conserving water to fighting for the rights of the differently-abled, the seven women who were given access to Modi’s social media accounts have made significant contribution in various fields. Sharing their inspirational videos on his social media handles using the hashtag #SheInspiresUs, the Prime Minister brought to light the stories of these women who have been making remarkable changes in the society.
Apart from Mohandoss, other women achievers include Malvika Iyer, Arifa Jaan, Kalpana Ramesh, Vijaya Pawar, Kalavati Devi and Veena Devi.
Iyer, a motivational speaker and disability specialist, survived a gruesome bomb blast at the age of 13 that blew off her hands and severely damaged her legs. Yet, she did not give up on life. Instead, she believes in forgetting her limitations and taking on the world with confidence and hope.
Arifa Jaan, who belongs to Kashmir, revised the “namda” craft after she saw the degrading condition of women artisans in India. Seeing it a means to empower local women, Arifa began to revive traditional art that would suit the modern day market.
Ramesh, a “water warrior”, started her journey towards achieving great heights by preserving water, saving lakes and recycling used water. She also created awareness among the rest to practice rainwater harvesting.
Pawar, who promotes handicrafts from the Banjara community of rural Maharashtra, has been working for the last two decades on taking the art forward. She is assisted by a thousand more women in her journey.
Kalavati Devi, belonging to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, started building toilets by collecting money from people. She place where she lived had filth all around and she convinced people to contribute money towards bringing cleanliness.
Veena Devi, from Munger in Bihar, cultivate mushrooms and grew the crop under her bed. Not only did her idea make her self-sufficient, but it also gave her a new life by boosting her confidence.
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