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Trailblazers of Hope: The Untold Stories of Lachama and Lacchi in Odisha’s Heartland

In the tranquil landscapes of Koraput, amidst the rhythm of nature, two extraordinary women, Lachama Karlia and Lacchi Pangi, are quietly etching tales of hope and transformation in the remote villages of Chenirpadar and Mathapada. Far from the bustling urban eye, their narratives echo as powerful tales of resilience, compassion, and the unyielding spirit of change.

Lachama Karlia’s Journey in Chenirpadar: A Beacon of Change

In the rustic village of Chenirpadar near Baipariguda block, where bureaucratic hurdles and basic amenities posed significant challenges, 26-year-old Lachama emerged as a catalyst for change. Her commitment to bringing hope to her fellow villagers became the driving force behind positive transformations.

Lachama’s initiatives began with a focus on the elderly, launching a comprehensive campaign to assist them in navigating bureaucratic hurdles for pension schemes. Her endeavours extended to securing Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration cards for impoverished families, with meticulous attention to detail and a heart dedicated to community welfare.

“Hope is not just a word; it’s the warmth of a timely meal and the assurance that their years of toil are acknowledged,” reflects Lachama. Her work extended to improving road connectivity, collaborating with the community to initiate road construction projects, and actively intervening to combat the shadows of child marriages.

“Most people in our village are illiterate, and they barely have any idea about various government schemes. I, being the first educated girl from the village, am trying to help them,” shared Lachama.

She is also dedicatedly working to eliminate child marriage in the region, stating, “I am determined to set examples in the region by spreading awareness regarding child marriage and its detrimental consequences. Through collaborative efforts with local organizations, I aim to educate families about the importance of allowing children, especially girls, to pursue education and personal growth, free from the constraints of early marriages. The ultimate goal is to empower the community and create a supportive environment for the holistic development of every child.”

Collaborating with CYSD, Lachama’s efforts bore fruit, bringing tangible changes to her village. As an elder states, “Lachama’s effort brought life to our village. We breathe easier, knowing someone cares.” Her selfless work is instilling hope among the villagers, and she aspires to be a political leader in the future, working for her community.

Lacchi Pangi’s Trailblazing Mission in Mathapada: Bridging Divides and Creating Hope

In the tribal enclave of Mathapada in the Baipariguda block, 25-year-old Lacchi emerged as a trailblazer. Her mission: to bridge divides and bring hope to a village isolated from essential services, especially due to the formidable barrier of the river Banuaguda.

Most community members in Mathapada are involved in farming on their small landholdings. The lack of a bridge over the river, the primary mode of connectivity between Mathapada and the neighboring village Banuaguda, posed a significant challenge, especially for young children attending Anganwadi services.

Identifying this issue, Lacchi Pangi, an educated and active community leader, initiated a comprehensive plan. Through awareness campaigns, meetings, and collaboration with the Panchayat, Lacchi rallied the support of her fellow villagers to highlight the importance of building a bridge for safe passage across the river.

Although successful in building the bridge, Lacchi continues her fight to open a mini-Anganwadi in Banuaguda. “The absence of a bridge meant that young children could not access the Anganwadi services in Mathapada village, depriving them of early childhood education and proper nutrition,” she shared.

The bridge helped the villagers get connected with others and experience the fruit of development. Children now tread the path to education, their laughter echoing across the once-silent river. Lacchi’s efforts have not only improved access to education and nutrition but have also connected communities, fostering overall development.

In the quiet corners of Odisha, Lachama and Lacchi, with grit and grace, have rewritten the narratives of their villages. Their stories transcend obstacles, financial constraints, and physical barriers, underscoring the profound impact of hope in the most unexpected places.

These are not just stories of two women; they are tales of communities reborn, of dreams rekindled, and hope that refuses to be extinguished. As the world is celebrating International Women’s Day, let these stories echo across the hills and rivers, inspiring us to find hope in every corner, reminding us that, indeed, it is the unseen trailblazers who illuminate the path.

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