Anandiben Mafatbhai PatelÃ‚Â is the 15th Ã‚Â and the present Chief Minister of Gujarat. She is the first woman to become the Chief Minister of the state. She is a member of the Bhartiya Janta PartyÃ‚Â (BJP) since 1987.
Anandiben Patel was born on 21 November 1941 to Jethabhai Patel in Kharod village of Mehsana district of Gujarat. She has attended N.M. High School in Ahmedabad, the same school where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also studied. Anandiben was one of the only three female students in the school. She remained a district level champion of athletics for consecutive three years during her school days. She was the only female student in her entire college when she went on to pursue her B.Sc in 1960 at M.G. Panchal Science College
Anandiben Patel got married to Mafatbhai Patel on 26 May 1962. Her husband was a professor of Psychology at the Saraspur Art & Commerce College. She moved to Ahmedabad with her husband in 1965 where she attained her masterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s degree in science. She enrolled in a bachelor of education program to pursue her interest in teaching.
She joined Mahila Vikas Gruh for the upliftment of women as her first job, where she taught vocational courses to more than 50 widows. She received a gold medal in her master of education program.
Before becoming the principal of the Mohinaba Vidyalaya, Anandiben also taught science and mathematics to higher secondary students.
They did not legally separate, but they began living apart in 1985.Ã‚Â Patel voluntarily retired from teaching after 31 years. The couple have two children, Sanjay and Anar
Patel’s entry into politics began with an accident during a school picnic in 1987, when she jumped in the Sardar Sarovar reservoir to save two girls who were drowning during a school picnic, for which she received a president’s bravery award.Ã‚Â Impressed by Patel’s heroism, BJP top brass suggested Anandiben Patel to join the party. After initial reluctance, she joined BJP considering politics. While volunteering for a drought relief program, she saw politics as a means of service and joined BJP as the Gujarat Pradesh Mahila Morcha President in 1987.
As a member of Parliament
Patel was elected to Rajyasabha from Gujarat in 1994.
1998 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ First election in Mandal (As an Education Minister)
Patel resigned from Rajyasabha in 1998 and contested her first assembly election from MandalÃ‚Â assembly seat in Ahmedabad district of Gujarat. She became the State Minister in Government of Gujarat. Later, she became the fifth Woman Cabinet Minister of Gujarat and was assigned the Education portfolio.
Under her leadership the state Government launched “Shala Praveshotsav” to increase enrolment in schools. Her efforts resulted in a 100% increase in enrolment.
In her first two years as an Education Minister, Patel initiated a campaign to recruit 26,000 teachers to fill positions that had been vacant for six years. She is also credited for her work to reduce corruption in the transfer of teachers. She established a school for handicapped children.
Second and Third Election from Patan (2002Ã¢â‚¬â€œ2012)
Patel fought her second and third assembly elections under the leadership of Narendra Modi in 2002 and 2007 from Patan Constituency. Against the familiar trend of Education Minister not being elected, she won both the elections. She continued as a Cabinet Minister for Education in her second term and was assigned to Roads & Building and Revenue in her third term.
Patel, in her term of 10 years in Patan, worked tirelessly for the development of the region. A few of the high impact projects that took place during her time are: connecting Patan with the Narmada canal for the welfare of farmers; creating 174 check dams in the region; building one of the largest water filtration plants to provide citizens of Patan with pure drinking water; the construction of a new medical and engineering college in the region; and the creation of more than 700Ã‚Â km worth of road networks and underground drainage systems.
2012 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Fourth term election from Ghatlodiya
In 2012 elections, she won with a margin of more than 175,000 votes. Patel’s charismatic presence won her the maximum lead in the state.
2014 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Chief Minister of Gujarat
On 22 May 2014, Patel took oath as the 15th Chief Minister of Gujarat succeeding Narendra Modi. Patel’s name was proposed and adopted at a meeting of the Legislature Party in the presence of Modi, who moments earlier had resigned as the Chief Minister.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
- ‘Veer Bala’ Award for securing the first position in Mahesana district school sports event.
- Gallantry Award for saving lives of two school girls who were drowning during a school picnin (1987).
- Governor’s Award for best teacher in Gujarat (1988).
- President’s Award for the best teacher (1989).
- ‘Sardar Patel’ Award by Patel Jagruti Mandal, Mumbai (1999).
- ‘Vidya Gaurav’ Award by Shri Tapodhan Brahman Vikas Mandal (2000).
- ‘Patidar Shiromani’ Award by the Patel community (2005).
- Winner of Charumati Yoddha Award (Jyotisangh), Ahmedabad
- Winner of Ambubhai Purani Vyayam Vidyalay Award (Rajpipala)
- The Indian Express has listed her in top 100 most influential people of India for the year 2014.
- Special honour bestowed by Dharati Vikas Mandal for Women’s Upliftment Campaign.