India’s youngest Mayor Mekala Kavya on work-life balance- The New Indian Express

India’s youngest Mayor Mekala Kavya on work-life balance- The New Indian Express


Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Mekala Kavya has been in the news ever since she became the youngest Mayor at the age of 26 of the newly-formed Jawaharnagar Municipal Corporation, Medchal. “Yes, after 2019 elections, I became one of the youngest mayors in India as well,” she says.

With no political experience, during the campaign she admits that though she was motivated and aggressive, but towards the end, “was tensed and anxious.” She adds, “The support of the people, my father and brother, helped me.”

The BTech graduate, instead of taking a plum job in the IT industry, chose to follow the footsteps of her father, Mekala Ayappa, a district political leader. Taking over at a difficult time, with the Covid-19 pandemic, she has relentlessly been at the forefront of the fight against Coronavirus in her municipality.

“At least 90 per cent of the population of Jawaharnagar are daily wage earners, and it was definitely a challenge reaching out to all the needy,” she comments. Aware that the government funding is limited, she and her family also spent their own money to help those in distress, and pictures of her distributing food and other essentials have emerged throughout the lockdown. “Along with my corporators, TRS Leaders and NGOs, I distributed, dry ration and cooked food to the urban poor and migrant labour during the entire period,” she adds.

Kavya is a mother to a two-year-old girl Dhanvi. How does she maintain the work-life balance? “Many ask me this question,” she says. “My answer to all is that if you love your work and your family, and do not look at is as a responsibility, then you will be able to balance both effectively. It is a ‘will issue’ not a ‘skill issue’,” she replies confidently. “You know,” she adds, “I play with my kid for relaxation, it really rejuvenates me every single time.” Her husband, Praveen is into construction business and leads a busy life as well. However, she says, “We never find it difficult to take time out for the family, as we both are of the same mindset.”

Making sure she finds time for her hobbies — painting, craft making and dancing — she confides, “I forget myself while dancing.” Kavya has studied from Narayana School, Marredpally and graduated from Srinidhi Engineering College. With plenty of opportunities in the IT industry, we ask her why she chose politics. She asserts, “Job is not my cup of tea. And politics was not by accident, also not by plan. Becoming a dynamic political leader like KTR sir is my goal.”

The young and confident woman has big plans for her municipality. She lists the problems of the area: “Jawaharnagar is the poorest municipal corporation in Telangana and was notified as a corporation in July 2019. It has the lowest revenue resources due to which basic civic amenities like roads, drainage, and green lung spaces are absent.”

Ready with a solution to these issues, she says, “I have prepared a plan of action and I am working towards achieving smart goals to provide civic amenities. I have plans to turn Jawaharnagar into a model town just as good as Karimnagar and Sircilla.”

Despite the high expectations, the politician shares, “I have not prepared any plan for my political future. I will work for my people and my people will take care of my political future.”

Day in life of Kavya

5:30 am: Wake up
6:00 am to 7 am: Walking and mild exercise
7:00 am to 9:00 am: House hold chores and spend time with my child
9:00 am to 10:00am: Breakfast and meeting with my dad
10:00am to 11:00 am: Visit to my ward areas
11:00 am to 12:00 pm: Office, public interactions
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm: Site visits
2:00pm to 3:00pm: Lunch and family time
3:00 pm to 6:00 pm: Corporation visits to wards
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm: Meet public at ward office
7:00 pm to 9:00pm: Family time and dinner
10:00 pm: Book reading and sleep

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