What is the first phrase that comes in your mind, when you are asked to describe Indian villages? Is it poverty? Or lack of sanitation? If not, lack of education will surely be somewhere in your mind. Yes, this is the image we have painted in our minds about gaon, which was earlier, associated with the beautiful star-lit sky, sarson k khet, mud houses, charpaai and clean air. But I am sure, after reading these some of very wonderful things about Indian villages, you will be forced to change your current perception about the true representatives of India, Indian villages.
An Indian Village With 100% Literacy Rate
When it comes to Kerala, the first thing that would strike the mind is high literacy rate and so is the case with its one of the villages. Pothanikkad village, situated in Kerala is the first Indian village to achieve 100% literacy rate. According to the 2011 census, there were 17,563 residents in the village and all of them were educated.
ASIA’S Cleanest Village
Indian village and cleanliness, the two words sound very opposite to each other, right? But yes, this is one of the Indian villages I am talking about. Located 90 km away from Shillong, Mawlynnong was declared as the Asia’s cleanest village in 2003 by Discover India Magazine. The village offers a sky walk for you to take in the beauty, whose path is cleaned by the villagers themselves. One can find dustbins almost in every corner of the village and not a single piece of plastic bag or even a cigarette butt could be found lying around.
The Sustainable Indian Village
Tree planting, terracing, building canals, using renewable energy sources like solar energy, wind energy etc. are the terms your must have studied in geography under the sustainable development program. Ever thought of applying it to your practical lives? There are some people” the rural people”, who actually understand these terms and transformed a drought torn, poverty stricken village will into a symbol of self sustenance within a span of 25 years. Ralegan Siddhi, a village of Maharashtra sets a role model for villages across the country getting the immense applaud from World Bank Group, making India proud!
An Indian Village with No Doors
Many stories in the Indian mythology evince this invincible trust in God, but this one will make you defy every newspaper report you have ever read. Shani Shingnapur, a village of Maharashtra, quoted as the safest place in India, is known for its lack of doors to houses. This is a unique place with no police station, country’s first lock-less bank branch of UCO bank and indefinite blessings of ‘shanidev’.
An Indian Village That Itself Beat the Arsenic Poisoning In Water
Ballia, a village of Uttar Pradesh is famous for its struggle against the contamination of arsenic in drinking water, which was causing many serious skin problems and physical deformations. Instead of waiting for the government to act, the villagers fixed all the wells by their selves to get rid of the problem.
The Village of 600 Millionaires
From a count of 168 below poverty line families in 1995 to just 3 now, Hiware Bazar, a village located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, sets an ideal model of development for the whole country. The sole reason for this fairy-tale change, from being a place fraught with issues to being possibly the richest village in India, is one man called Popatrao Pawar who, being the sarpanch of village in 1990, banned all addictive substances to minimize expense and encouraged the villagers to invest in milch cattle, rain-water harvesting, etc.
The First Fully Solar Powered Village
Dharnai, a village of 2400 residents in Bihar, beat 30 years of darkness by developing its own solar- powered system for electricity. With the help of Greenpeace India solar-powered micro-grid, they are able to generate electricity for homes, street lighting for roads and lanes, and water pumps. It is the first Indian village where all aspects of life are powered by solar energy.
An Indian Village that believes in conservation of nature
You must have always heard of the scarecrow that is used in farms to discourage birds from harming the crops, but there is a small village in Karnataka, Korkrebeller, where people believes in conservation of nature more than saving their crops. The villagers treat their winged compatriots as family and have even created an area for wounded birds to rest and heal.
An Indian Village with All Urban Facilities
24-hour Wi-Fi connectivity, CCTV cameras in the primary school, solar powered lamps, an independent bus service and clean drinking water at a nominal cost of Rs 4 for a 20-litre drinking water, could you expect this much facilities from a well established metro city? Obviously not, this is not an urban city; here I am talking about an Indian village located in Gujarat, Punsari which has efficiently put metros to shame.
An Indian Village where Cobras Co-Exist with Humans
Shetpal is a small sleepy village of Maharashtra where people have regular strange, visitors almost every day nobody would have dreamed of. These visitors are none other than Naja Naja – India’s most venomous snakes – Cobras and the good part is, they are treated by the villagers like their guests only. Surprisingly, there has been no major incident of cobra bite and death in this village, so people here don not kill them.
The Village that Celebrates the Birth of a Girl Child
Neelam, the sarpanch of Chappar village of Haryana, is a lady who put the initiative to change the attitude of people towards women. Despite of being a citizen of Haryana, a state with lowest girls ratio, she succeeded in her mission and now every newborn, regardless of his/her sex, is welcomed into the world with sweets and festivities.
An Ideally Transformed Village
You must have heard of art of living changing the lives of people in a very positive way, but ever thought of a change in the whole village? Kathewadi village, a small village of Maharashtra where once both rich and poor were addicted to alcohol, is now a village where alcoholism plunged down to zero percentage. A transformation from zero toilets to 110, 70% alcoholism to 0%, indulgence of self help groups (SHGs) etc. have made the village an ideal one. All thanks to ART OF LIVING!
Amazed to know all these awesome things about Indian villages? Now, I am sure you will agree to Gandhiji’s vision for India: “The future of India lies in its villages”.
If you know about more such villages, and/or have visited them, please do write in.