Breaking the monotony in the male dominant society, Rohini P. Bhajibhakare has become the first women collector of the district in Tamil Nadu. For over 170 years, no woman ever held the post of the district collector at Salem in Tamil Nadu. A record of 170 collectors and none was a woman.
She was nine years old when she saw her father struggling to receive benefits that the government had announced for farmers. The agriculturalist from Solapur district in Maharashtra was running from pillar to post to get documents signed when Rohini asked him – ‘Who is responsible for ensuring you get what is due to you?’ Her father, she recalls, immediately said it was the district collector.
“Seeing the problems my father faced inspired me to become a government servant and focus on public service, I studied in a government school and did my engineering in a government college,” said Rohini, who cleared the civil service Exam without private coaching.
Rohini was the Additional Collector (Development) and Project Officer for the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) for Madurai district. She is married to IPS officer Vijyendra Bidari, who was transferred and posted as the Director of Social Security Schemes on August 25.
“The experience has led me to believe that our government schools have good teachers but are lacking in terms of infrastructure,” she says. “That is something I will be addressing in Salem as well,” she says.
There are two pressing issues that she will first have to deal with (i.e. Sanitation and health). “With the threat of dengue apparent, there is a need for additional focus on sanitation. That will be my first priority,” she explains. “The desalting of lakes, which is a flagship project of the Government of Tamil Nadu, will also be overseen,” she adds.
Speaking to the Hindu, he proudly beamed saying, “She is a very positive and sensitive person who believes in making women employees confident.”Despite both of them holding extremely important public posts, when at home, they support each other in household responsibilities “The best thing about my husband is he is extremely supportive and non-fussy about so many things at home. I am not a great cook, but that is never an issue. He never bothers if I am late for work. When I travel, he takes care of our son,” she told the publication.
While speaking to the News Minute, she expresses her concern about the women empowerment, she says, “It is important that women are made part of the decision making the process at the highest levels.