For 15 years, Lataben Sachde (born 1963) has been working with elected women, and studying their perspective on good governance. The change her leadership has brought about is evident in the way that women leaders execute their positional power in their respective villages. i.e., responsibly. An estimated 500 "leaders" have stepped out of their restrictive social mores, challenging the patriarchal setup. Lataben and her team are the quiet force that has initiated a powerful grassroots movement of women claiming their public spaces.
Lataben Sachde had to struggle with her in-laws to work with the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS). She also had to overcome her own lack of exposure and specific educational skills within the organization. Fifteen years later, Lataben is one of the leaders of the organization. Her work with KMVS is centered on the political empowerment of rural women. She inspires by personal example, and has built the capacities of women in governance and political leadership at the village level. Lataben's focus is on nurturing political leadership within the village and the community. Lataben hails from the Kutch district, which gives her an edge in understanding the social dynamics of the region. For over a decade and a half, she has been interacting with women who have been elected, and understanding their perspective on what comprises good governance. She also interacts with the government machinery to understand its perspective, so as to strategize and make an entry point into the system. The change brought about by Lataben's leadership is evident in the governance behavior of the women leaders in their respective villages. An estimated 500 leaders have been able to step out of their restrictive social mores, challenging the existing patriarchal setup. Lataben's capacity to manage her familial responsibilities and her responsibilities at work has finally won her the respect of her in-laws. They now understand and support her work in the field. She and her team are the quiet force that has initiated a powerful grassroots movement of women claiming their public spaces.
Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS)