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A simple girl with a big dream

DC | PAPIA LAHIRI
Published Jan 1, 2014, 5:39 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 4:05 am IST
Rakhi Birla, a 26-year-old TV production assistant, was sent to cover the Anna Hazare protests. She’s now AAP’s youngest hope
(Photo: Sondeep Shankar)
 (Photo: Sondeep Shankar)

As one enters the bylanes of Mangolpuri constituency in North-West Delhi, large hoardings of capital’s new Women and Child Social Welfare minister Rakhi Birla along with CM Arvind Kejriwal are visible at every 50 metre interval. If you ask for directions to her place, even the five-year-olds are able to point at her residence. And finally after figuring out her residence and waiting in a 22ftX15ft room cramped with plastic chairs and a bed, the youngest Aam Aadmi Party Cabinet member makes the most nonchalant appearance.

Her father had earlier implied that Rakhi has been unwell owing to two hectic weeks of addressing mass rallies, attending meetings and obliging volunteers, who have helped in her victory. But she agrees to give an interview and click a few photographs, not without the AAP trademark topi, though. “It’s like suddenly I have become a VIP. I am not used to it and neither do I wish to get any such treatment. I just wish to serve the people,” says Rakhi, whose family hails from a village near Bahadurgarh. Her father organises eye-camps for the poor and mother works as a sweeper in a government school.

 

“I studied mass communication because I realised I love interacting with people and travelling,” she says.

Recalling her journey since last year when she was covering the Anna movement as a journalist and eventually chose to be a part of it, Rakhi says, “We all are sick of the corrupt political system. I decided to take it on by being part of the movement and decided to follow Kejriwalji. My real work starts now.”

Talking about her plans for her constituency, Rakhi says, “Everything is priority for me — be it sanitation, health, education facilities or women’s safety. All issues have to be worked upon with equal weightage. I am regularly going out and meeting people to know their problems.” She adds, “But we are propagating the idea of Swaraj and that is what AAP and I stand for,” she says

 

Meanwhile, Rakhi’s elder brother’s son refuses to leave her side throughout the interview and insists on being clicked with her. It is evident that he adores his bua.

“I am just a simple girl who is not used to such fame and adulation,” she concludes.

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