Ushma, a UPSC Aspirant, now a Swachh Bharat Crusader


Ushma Goswami with some villagers – Courtesy TheBetterIndia


Writer of the iconic series based on a protagonist now popular as Robert Langdon, Dan Brown has written in the Lost Symbol – “Knowledge grows exponentially. The more we know, the greater our ability to learn, and the faster we expand our knowledge base.”

Using the power of knowledge and walking the unbeaten path, a post graduate from Faculty of Social Sciences, Delhi University and a UPSC aspirant, Ushma Goswami used her acumen to help the society. As a student she was always attracted towards various social differences between the urban and the rural, castes, and the privileged and underprivileged sections. She has now taken it in her stride to bridge this ever widening gap.

Ushma in 2016 was selected for a fellowship and chose to work on Governance issues. Born and brought up in Chandigarh, she has spent five quality years in Delhi.

Choosing to work with DHAN Foundation she mostly works in the southern part of India. As a young and dynamic go getter she strives to go beyond her comfort zones and touch lives. She also sees immense scope in breaking what she calls the language barrier. This stems from her early experiences when she reached the Mysore district’s B Seehalli Panchayat on August 19,2016.

Her first break in the initiative came when she was allowed to open a paralegal clinic to provide small scale legal advice and resolve minor issues at panchayat level.

Like any new initiative she had teething troubles, language and communication was a major barrier but things smoothened as time progressed. Not long ago in November 2016, Ushma was all ready to call it quits. But lady luck was on her side.

Ushma slowly but surely mingled with kids and others in Anganwadis. In happier times even the language barrier started giving way.

She learnt Kannada and got connecting with parents.

She went door to door and checked about toilets and found nearly 400 households were without any.

Ushma arranged for a loan of Rs. 20,000 each to 38 villagers who did not have money to build a toilet.

After 10 months of running from pillar to post, Ushma has succeeded in her mission.
She has helped to build toilets for 70 households in Seehali and Kodagahalli Panchayat.
Ushma aims to build near about 200 toilets in both panchayats before the end of her project this year.

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