For over three decades, Dr Rukmini Rao has been committed to improving the lives of the underprivileged and vulnerable communities, especially women and girls, of Nalgonda district — in the state of Telangana. She does this through social campaigns as well as rural development initiatives by working with them on the ground.

Dr. Rao has been instrumental in addressing the issues of female infanticide among the Lambada tribes in the region. Through the Gramya Resource Centre for Women, she has made relevant interventions, especially with regard to gender concerns. In this interview, Dr. Rao — who was recognised as the Woman of the Year by The Week — speaks about the initial challenges she faced and the change that has come about over these years. As she sums up in the end, “It’s a long path still to walk…”.

(featured photo by Sanjay Ahlawat)