16-year-old girl at the helm of administration in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapuram district, for a day

Sixteen-year-old Sravani took charge as Collector and District Magistrate of Anantapur from Gandham Chandrudu. Sravani, a first-year intermediate student, signed on two files — one granting a financial compensation of Rs 25,000 to a minor victim in an SC/ST Atrocity case, and another order that directs that no official phone calls must be made to female employees of government offices between 8 pm and 8 am.

Sravani’s father is a farmer, while her mother is a daily wage worker. Speaking to reporters on taking charge as Collector, Sravani, who studies at Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in Garladinne, said, “I am looking to solve problems related to road safety, child rights and education. I am concerned about animal welfare in rural areas, and waste management.”

Madhusri, who took charge as Joint Collector, said, “The groundnut crop has been destroyed because of heavy rains. I would like to provide compensation to farmers for their losses.”

Madhusri visited a government site in Anantapur rural mandal, which will be distributed as part of a housing scheme for the poor. She inquired about the status of the scheme and gave suggestions to the local officials.

The officials ensured that the usual protocol was firmly maintained during these visits and inspections. The ‘officers for a day’ were allowed to see files and take decisions (while being advised by women working at various NGOs that have a proven track record), and these decisions will be implemented.

The girls were guided through the day by the officers concerned, from whom they took charge. The respective officers will mentor the girls for the next 10 to 15 years to guide them in their education, the Collector said.

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