Woman sarpanch mortgages jewellery to buy CCTV cameras for village in Madhya Pradesh

Many a movie has shown the female protagonist taking off her bangles to help her husband realise his dream.
Asha Kaithwas mortgaged her jewellery for installing night vision CCTV cameras at her Madhya Pradesh village (Photo | Special Arrangement)
Asha Kaithwas mortgaged her jewellery for installing night vision CCTV cameras at her Madhya Pradesh village (Photo | Special Arrangement)

BHOPAL: Many a movie has shown the female protagonist taking off her bangles to help her husband realise his dream. Asha Kaithwas did something similar, but for a different cause. The 35-year-old sarpanch mortgaged her jewellery for installing night vision CCTV cameras at her Madhya Pradesh village.

Kaithwas, 35, who became the sarpanch of Jhiri panchayat in Burhanpur district over a month back, said the cameras became a necessity after the abduction of a tribal boy of Jhajhar village, which forms a part of Jhiri gram panchayat. “Though the boy was traced in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra in two days, the police found it tough to probe due to the absence of CCTV cameras in the four nearby villages on Ichchapur- Indore Highway,” said Kaithwas, who belongs to a Scheduled Caste and has studied up to Class 10.

The police asked all the panchayats to install CCTV, since villages located near highways are more vulnerable to crime. “Since I was newly elected, my digital signatures were yet to be created. So I couldn’t get money allocated through the janpad panchayat. I then decided to mortgage the jewellery given to me by my parents during my marriage,” she said.

Kaithwas and her husband Vikas, who works as a labour contractor, also pooled in their `55,000 savings. “The equipment cost Rs 82,000, but that is too low when it comes to ensuring safety. We too have two daughters,” Vikas, who is also the BJP’s SC cell leader, said. Lauding Kaithwas’ efforts, Burhanpur SP Rahul Kumar Lodha said, “What she has done is exemplary and shows her sense of responsibility.”

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