Banita Pujari brings changes in her life and work
Banita Pujari and seven community organizers from Odisha were amongst the participants of training on strengthening of CBOs organized by PACS. After completing 4 phases of the training and gaining the required skills, they analyzed their CBOs and working style critically and brought necessary changes in the CBOs. A National Level programme, "Shared Leadership, Stronger Communities celebrating the power of collectives" was held at New Delhi from 15.10.2014 to 17.10.2014. In this Programme there were 500 participants along with state coordinators from seven states i.e. Odisha, Bihar, Chhatisgad, West Bengal, UttarPradesh, MadhyaPradesh, and Jharkhand. In front of the large audience Banita shared that before the training she used to be shy and had very low self-esteem. The "Within" journey has led to a shift in her self-perception, helping her to recognize her strengths and believe in herself. She is now passionate about encouraging other women in her community as well. "I went and spoke to the women in the field and told them about equality and how everyone has a right for free speech." Now more women in her village participate in gram sabhas (village council meetings) and speak their minds in the CBO meetings. She has also seen a change in the confidence of CBO members. "Before, I used to go to the government offices with them, but now the community has become confident and goes and shares their problems with the government officials. I am only informed and asked for guidance. The action is being taken by them." Not only Banita but also other staffs and some other community leader changed their working style and CBOs through training.