Phoolbasan Bai Yadav is an Indian social worker. She is the founder of ‘Maa Bamleshwari Janhitkari Samiti,’ a non-governmental organization known for its work towards the development of economically and socially backward women of Chhattisgarh.
Phoolbasan Bai Yadav was born on Friday, 5 December 1969 (age 51 years; as of 2020) in Sukuldaihan, Dhangaon, Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh. Her zodiac sign is Sagittarius. She studied only up to the seventh standard as her parents could not afford school fees, uniforms, and books, and also because of her father, who opposed the idea of educating a girl.
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Color: Black
Family & Caste
Parents & Siblings
She was born into a socially backward family with insufficient financial resources. Phoolbasan Bai was born to Jhadiram Yadav and Sumitra Yadav. Her family ran a tea stall in the locality. She was born the third of seven children of her parents; she has two brothers named Kanta Prasad Yadav and Shailendra Yadav and four sisters named Kanti Yadav, Dhrupati Yadav, Sarasvati Yadav, and Chhavi Yadav.
Husband & Children
She got married at the age of ten to a cattle grazer; they have four children; she gave birth to her first child at the age of fourteen.
Phoolbasan started her career as a social activist after participating in the activities of the self-help groups in the district (Rajnandgaon). Soon, she formed groups of her own such as Pragya Mahila Samooh, Kiraya Bhandar, Bazar Theka, and established ration shops (for distribution of food among the people below poverty line (BPL)). Later, she brought all the groups together and formed the non-governmental organization ‘Maa Bamleshwari Janhitkari Samiti’ in 2001.
Ever since then, the organization has covered 12000 women self-help groups containing total strength of over 200,000 members reportedly. By collecting Rs. 2 per person, the organization has accumulated around Rs. 250 million. The groups under the organization engage in works related to health, education, sanitation, and social reforms. The organization has conducted regular polio vaccine clinics, opened schools and Anganwadis, organized food programs for children, set up livelihood earning programs for women, and campaigned against child marriages. The organization has also adopted 54 children and has a presence all over Chhattisgarh. It has initiated social campaigns such as Sharab Bandh (through which they have claimed to close down 250 liquor shops in the state), Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, and preparation of 20,000 soak pits for rainwater harvesting in the district.
Awards & Honours
- Chhattisgarh Minimata Alankaran Award in 2004
- Jamnalal Bajaj Award in 2004
- Zee TV Astithva Award from Zee Entertainment Enterprises in 2008
- Kannagi Sthree Shakti Award from the Government of India in 2010
- Sadguru Gnanananda National Award in 2010
- Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Award in the social service category (Amodini Award) in 2011
- Padma Shri in 2012
- Government of Chhattisgarh has named her the brand ambassador for the maternity program called Janani Suraksha Yojana
- Mahaveer Foundation Award for the year 2014
- National Award for Best Performance, sponsored by NABARD
- Award for Women Empowerment from the Union Bank of India
- In her effort to bring change in the lives of women in Chattisgarh, she faced many problems including her husband, who used physical violence to stop her from going out of her home and coming home late in the night. However, with the time, he understood her and began supporting Phoolbasan in her work.
- She came in the limelight when she participated in the “Mahila Olympic” organized by the district administration and won the first prize.
- According to Phoolbasan, her organization had made 50 villages in Chhattisgarh open defecation-free, even before Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s initiation of Swachh Bharat Mission.
- Phoolbasan has also been named as a member of State Planning Commission of Chattisgarh and Nine Gems of Chattisgarh (Swachh Bharat Abhiyan).
- To honour Phoolbasan Yadav, a documentary film ‘Kahaani Phulbhasan Ki’ was produced by the NGO Maa Bamleshwari Janhitkari Samiti.
- In 2020, a book based on Phoolbasan’s life titled ‘Phoolbasan Yadav: Fearless, Fierce, and Unfazed’ was written and published by Dr Arvind Yadav.
- She is also a mentor at Vision India Foundation, an organization that focuses on bringing systemic, long-term reforms by working on public policy, governance, and institutional frameworks of the nation.
- She has participated in various seminars to convey her message to women and share her story. She is also a TEDx speaker and given speeches in many events.
- In 2020, Phoolbasan made an appearance with actress Renuka Shahane in the Karamveer Special of Kaun Banega Crorepati, hosted by Amitabh Bachchan.