This is a story from a place where even the primary education of the girls are not a fashion even now. Mewat comprises portions of Alwar and Bharatpur districts inhabited by the Meo Muslims. On March 5, The Villagers of Garhazan village in Bharatpur elected the 24-year-old medical student Shahnaaz Khan as their first MBBS sarpanch. It is interesting to know that day the by-election for sarpanch of Garhazan village in Bharatpur was held, poll candidate Shahnaaz Khan was busy taking her MBBS fourth year practical examinations.
Shahnaaz Khan is currently a student at Teerthanker Mahaveer Medical College and Research Center in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. Shahnaaz has broken many records by this election. Shahnaaz is the youngest sarpanch of her village, which is in Mewat region that includes parts of Haryana and Rajasthan. She is also the most educated woman in Garhazan’s history. Though she belongs to a family with the rich political background still she is the first female politician in her family. She gets a chance to take forward her paternal grandfather’s political legacy.
“People in Mewat area don’t send their daughters to schools. I will present before them my own example to show what education can do for a woman,” Shahnaaz said after taking oath as sarpanch on Monday.
But it is going to be challenging for her because apart from her duties as Sarpanch, She will start her internship at Civil Hospital in Gurgaon shortly and take an entrance examination for the postgraduate course in medicine later, but is confident of juggling studies and grass-roots level politics.
Shahnaaz’s was elected sarpanch after her grandfather Hanif Khan’s election in 2015 was declared null and void by a court in October last year. The court ruled Hanif Khan had forged educational qualification documents. To which Shahnaaz said -“My family is committed to serving the people. Shahnaaz joined politics to fulfill her grandfather’s dreams. She will serve the Meo community because it is backward.”
The Rajasthan government has made Class 10 mandatory qualification for sarpanch candidates. Hanif Khan had been sarpanch of Garhazan for 55 years.