Anandavalli had not imagined that one day she would become the head of the local body a decade ago when she reached the Patnapuram block panchayat to work as a non-partisan sweeper. A symbol of empowerment of the underprivileged, Anandavalli (46) of the Scheduled Castes has been elected as the chairman of the panchayat after the recent local body elections.
Anandavalli, a member of the CPI-M, said, “I never thought that I would be able to reach such a high position in an office where I was working as a part-time sweeper.” The CPI (M) -led LDF, which won most seats in the recent civic elections, proposed Anandavalli’s name for the post of Patanapuram block president.
CPI-M candidate Anandavalli won this seat by a large margin in the Talavur division in the elections. In the 13-member Block Panchayat of Patnapuram, the LDF won 13 seats while the main opposition Congress-led UDF won six seats.
Anandavalli took over as president on 30 December after being elected LDF leader in the council. The post of president was reserved for scheduled castes or women.
When asked about the reaction of family, friends and local people on his achievement, he said, “My village is very happy. Some other members of Anandavalli’s family are also associated with the CPI (M). Her husband is a member of the local committee of the party.
Anandavalli said that till last week, the officials she used to deliver tea to the block office were also happy to see her at the top post of block panchayat.
CPI-M branch committee member Anandavalli said, “They encouraged me to contest elections. Initially, I was a little hesitant but after convincing them I decided to contest elections. Everyone helped me. ” Anandavalli used to deliver tea and water to the chairman, officials and council members in the hall during the project review meetings.
He said, “I used to listen intently to the issues raised by the members in the meetings. I am aware of this. Now I will get to know about everything from the process to various tasks. ” Anandavalli, who has studied till intermediate, said that she will seek help from her party colleagues and officials to do justice to this post and take appropriate decisions.
Anandavalli joined the Panchayat office in 2011 as a part-time cleaner. Till the year 2017, he used to get a monthly salary of Rs 2,000. Later this amount was raised to Rs 6,000.