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Bee-woman buzzes change, firmly

When she divorced her polygamous husband, many thought that she would live rest of her life in ghettos. But the 39-year-old K.P. Jasmine proved them wrong. She fought her community and male-centric society to come up in public life.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2010 01:02 IST
Ramesh Babu

When she divorced her polygamous husband, many thought that she would live rest of her life in ghettos. But the 39-year-old K.P. Jasmine proved them wrong. She fought her community and male-centric society to come up in public life.

The award-winning panchayat president of Karinthalam-Kinanoor (in northern Kasargod) Jasmine has proved that marital status or community background aren’t disincentives for public acceptance.

In 1995 she divorced her Gulf-employed husband when she learnt that he had another wife. Left his house with her two-year-old son and parents and joined a self-help group and soon became its leader.

But fundamentalists weren’t happy and there were several attempts on her life, but her boldness paid off. She contested the panchayat election with CPM support and became its president in 2005.

She learnt bee-rearing to earn a living but was soon training women. More than 500 women are involved in her self-help group and last year, her panchayat produced 40 quintals of quality honey. In 2006 she won the state government award for model panchayat president.