Alaknanda Vaidya is a doctor and a single mother. She is 90% disabled. In order to support her 11-year-old daughter she got a government job. Recently she got transferred 100kms outside her hometown of Pune and is forced to live away from her daughter and mother. Alaknanda started a petition on Change.org, asking the Chief Minister of Maharastra Devendra Fadanvis to transfer her back. 90,000 people signed her petition. On 13th September the Chief Minister tweeted at her assuring, she would be transferred back to Pune. Alaknanda is happy, so is Ananya, her daughter. Change.org spoke to Alaknanda on her experience. Here are the excerpts:
Alaknanda, what was the first thing that your daughter said when you told her that you would be soon coming back to her?
My daughter was so overjoyed, she was crying over the phone. She said, now she could cuddle up with me every night.
Did you expect the Chief Minister himself to reply to your petition?
Not at all, I’m overwhelmed and extremely touched by his sensitive response. I’m grateful to him. Personally tweeting me and sending the message across. He even apologised in his post. I never wanted him to do that because it was not his fault that my transfer was not getting done.
Tell us about starting this petition
When I got transferred and realised that my transfer order back to Pune wasn’t happening and I will be stuck at this place away from my daughter, I felt like a helpless mother. So I started my petition on Change.org. My closest friends, my sister, my cousin, my colleagues not only signed it but they made it go viral through WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. So many people were signing my petition. Finally the CM took notice and responded. I thought I have to be the change I need today and that could be achieved only through Change.org and it is so aptly named – this is the change that we require.
Did you expect so many people to support you?
I had absolutely no idea that the people of this country were so empathetic towards my requirement. I was shocked in a very pleasant way that there are so many people who stand by me. I don’t think this success would have been possible without every single signature that this petition has received so far. I’m indebted to each one of them. Even the Chief Minister responded. I’m a non-entity, but he still replied to me.
What is your message to your supporters?
There should not be another Alaknanda Vaidya ever again. Any single parent, any physically challenged person should not be away from their child just for the sake of earning a livelihood.They should never compromise. There are people in the government to help us. The request has to reach the proper person. You have to have some tool or weapon, like Change.org