Government & Politics

Pooja Jha, a Community Development Worker, Empowering Rural Women Through Skill Development and Enhancing Their Economic Opportunities

District Manager, Jharkhand State Livelihoods Promotion Societyjamshedpur

Have patience and practice time management.
Have patience and practice time management.

Armed with an MBA in Rural Management, Pooja has built a successful career in community development, focusing on the skill development of both women and youth. She is also a self-taught artist who enjoys pursuing her creative interests in her free time.

Pooja Jha is a development professional working for the betterment of the community. She is associated with the organization 'Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society,' a flagship program of the Indian government focused on uplifting the rural poor.

Pooja shares that the main motto of the organization is to empower rural women and improve their livelihoods.

Talking further about her work profile, Pooja explains that they encourage the youth to undergo training and upskill themselves to secure good jobs. Besides skill development, Pooja has been passionate about painting since childhood. However, coming from a Bihari family where education was highly valued, she focused more on her studies. It was only after completing her MBA and getting a job that Pooja found time to pursue her other interests.

Following her passion for painting, Pooja received appreciation from her friends, which boosted her morale. She brushed up on her basics with the help of the internet. She is a self-taught artist and has taken various online workshops. Pooja is also a mother to a one-and-a-half-year-old baby.

Talking about her qualifications, Pooja shares that she completed her schooling at DAV Public School from Sitamarhi and then Muzaffarpur in Bihar. She then pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bihar Government College. Following her peers, she moved to Delhi to prepare for GATE and IAS entrance exams. However, she couldn’t qualify and later stumbled upon the idea of doing an MBA in Rural Management. After passing the entrance exam, she pursued her MBA from Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS), Ranchi.

Pooja hails from Mithilanchal and does Madhubani paintings. She wants to bring this art form to a wider viewership so that it can be recognized and appreciated. Pooja can be followed on her social media handles "poojamithilamagic" on Instagram and Facebook, where people can visit and purchase her artwork.

Pooja shares that Indian art forms are valued more abroad than in India. She feels that opportunities should be created in the art field and that people should consider it as a viable career. For this, support from parents and the government is paramount, adds Pooja.

Highlighting the challenges in her field, Pooja shares that the retention rate in the social field is very poor. She laments that the youth want employment in their home state and don’t wish to move out for better opportunities. This creates a barrier as, despite training and good placements outside their city, they decide to stay back and fear to move out.

Pooja feels happy to share that, in this field, the retention rate of females is better compared to men. But for women comes household responsibilities and the pressure of marriage that interferes with their professional development, says Pooja.

Sharing a glimpse of her achievements, Pooja mentions that she is often remembered for her previous tenure at Ranchi, which makes her happy. She believes that this feeling is unique and cannot be compared to money. Reflecting on her learning days, Pooja recalls participating in Rangoli and Dress-making competitions where her team won the first prize. She also scored 99 marks in Physical Education in her 12th grade, which made her happy.

When asked about her role models, Pooja says she draws inspiration from her father, who taught her to stay humble, a trait necessary for working in the community development field. Her father also taught her to treat everyone with respect, no matter what. Pooja also looks up to her husband and admires his patient and calm demeanour.

Pooja finds motivation in the quote, “In a world full of trends, I want to remain a classic.”

Advising the young who wish to join the field of social development, Pooja suggests pursuing a Master's Degree in Rural Development or Social Work.

In this era of mobile phones and Instagram reels, Pooja regrets that the youngsters these days want everything quickly and don’t want to invest their time. On that note, she advises them to be patient and practice time management.

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Get Inspired by a Devoted Social Worker Pooja Jha | Madhubani Artist | Community Development

Meet Pooja Jha, who works for social development at the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society. Learn how she focuses on the skill development of the youth through training programs.