At 32, This Woman Is the Mother of Two And Two-time MP

Raksha Nikhil Khadse is fondly addressed as Tai, or elder sister, by people of her constituency because of her good and social work

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Raksha Nikhil Khadse

Just before the 2014 Lok Sabha (LS) elections, pictures of a woman candidate campaigning with two small children—often in her arms—become quite popular especially on social media. This woman went on to win the Raver LS seat in Maharashtra in her first attempt with a handsome margin. She was 26 years old then.

She got re-elected from the constituency again in 2019. At 32, Raksha Nikhil Khadse is a two-time Member of Parliament for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She is daughter-in-law of Eknath Khadse, a seasoned BJP politician from Maharashtra who has held finance and agriculture portfolios in the state assembly.

While all this points to a woman who has achieved a lot at a very young age and comes from a privileged background, there is much more to the story of Raksha Khadse.

In 2013, when she was 25 years old and a mother of two, her husband Nikhil Khadse took his life by shooting himself in the head. In her words, she could not believe that her world came upside down.

At that age, a person weaves dreams for future and suddenly everything ended for her, she says.

For the initial few days, Khadse remained in solitude, undecided. But then she started meeting women who were in a more vulnerable situation. She drew inspiration from them and decided to continue social work, something she had been doing as a sarpanch and then head of Jalgaon zilla parishad before she contested for the LS seat. 

She thinks she is fortunate that she has been able to be in politics yet continue her social work. While she has various responsibilities such as to take care of two small children and the family, her biggest responsibility, according to her, is to take care of the people who have elected her and placed their trust.

The prime focus of this MP is woman empowerment, education, road connectivity and solving the water shortage issue which is prevalent in this part of Maharashtra. Her works over these years has earned him the title with which people of her constituency address her, ‘Tai’ which means elder sister in Marathi.