Meet 32-yr-old Santana Chakma, the only woman in Tripura’s ministerial cabinet

Meet 32-yr-old Santana Chakma, the only woman in Tripura’s ministerial cabinet

By SOMJIT NAHA | March 11, 2018

Santana Chakma (32), an ordinary women from a very humble background is now a member of the ministerial cabinet of Tripura. She is a perfect example of the adage, “dreams do come true”.

Santana, who holds a Masters Degree in Social Science has fought her whole life with poverty. Her father (Chandradhan Chakma) gave private tutions at her village in Pecharthal but is suffering from paralysis after a celebral attack. She has two elder brothers who are staying with them at Pecharthal.

After completion of her Masters Degree, all she wanted was to support her family and had tried her best to get a job but was rejected. She says she was pretty much influenced by BJP’s slogan of ‘Cholo Paltai ‘ (Let’s Change) so she became part of BJP and started to work day and night rigorously towards giving her best in whatever she did.
When she was selected as a candidate from Pecharthal constituency, she at first rejected her name citing that she had no money to contest the election. Only after the persuasion of the senior leadership of the party and the people in her area who were even willing to raise funds for her election, she agreed to fight the elections.
 In the recently concluded Tripura Assembly Election 2018, she has defeated veteran CPI(M) leader and multiple time MLA from Pecharthal constituency Arun Kr. Chakma with a margin of 1373 votes. After her win, there was demand from the Chakma community for their representation in the state cabinet since there has never been a Chakma minister.  Prior to this, she had worked for an NGO after completion of her Masters Degree and wanted to do much more for the people. She has only visited Guwahati once, that to for the work of the NGO.
“I had came to Agartala by morning train with my elder brother on the day of the swearing-in ceremony to witness the event but did not know that I was also going to swear in. Biplab Da, the present CM of Tripura told me few hours before the ceremony that I have been selected as a minister. I still could not believe it. I do not know where am I going to stay in Agartala as the driver told me that I cannot have anything from outside and my brother has also left for our village by the evening train. It is like living a dream, ” said a worried Santana.
Currently, Santana Chakma holds the portfolio of social welfare & social education as well as animal resource development.
People of her community are very happy as their daughter has became the daughter of the whole state and are hoping that she will work for the betterment and welfare of her community as well as for the whole state.



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