Ooha Mahanti: The Passionate Law Graduate Empowering Women from Disadvantaged Communities
Ooha Mahanti, a fierce and determined 25-year-old law graduate, is on a mission to empower women from disadvantaged communities and change their lives for the better. With a burning passion to educate and inform, she tirelessly works to spread awareness about the importance of good hygiene practices, particularly when it comes to menstrual hygiene.
Her tireless efforts have led to the launch of a powerful program called WASH (water sanitation and hygiene) that focuses on promoting safe drinking and sanitation habits in North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. She continues the legacy of her beloved grandfather, Ganapathi Rao, who dedicated his life to serving the needy in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts through the NGO Rural Development Welfare Society (RDWS). Ooha’s unwavering commitment to making a difference is truly inspiring and deserves applause.
Ooha has been a beacon of hope for the poor and needy in Marupalli village. With her RDWS campus established in Gajapathinagaram, she has been providing skill development training in tailoring, cell phone repairing, nature farming, electrical repairing and other self-employment trainings to those who need it the most. Not only that, but she has also been creating awareness on menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls by providing sanitary napkins at no cost.
Through ‘Balika Vidya’, Ooha has been fighting against social evils such as bonded and child labour, child marriages and human trafficking in tribal and rural pockets. Her tireless efforts have been recognized with the International Wonder Book of Records Award from the Governor of Mizoram, Dr Kamabhampati Hari Babu, for her dedicated service to the poor and needy, specifically tribal women and girls in north coastal Andhra Pradesh and some parts of south Odisha.
“I have distributed at least 3,665 sanitary napkins and 5,863 school bag kits to the school going adolescent girls. I am proud to say that I have been able to empower 360 women with vocational training in tailoring and provided 58 tailoring machines to the poor and needy women with the help of several corporate companies under CSR initiative,” Ooha said.
Ooha’s work has not only provided a means of livelihood for the underprivileged, but also instilled hope and dignity in their lives.