When we talk of Indian villages, we usually imagine a picture of poverty and illiteracy. We think of poor conditions of sanitation and infrastructure. We think of no access to healthy food, proper education or transport systems. That’s true! That’s how most of the Indian villages are. However, there are a handful of model Indian villages that not only challenge our thoughts but also trump them. This post is dedicated to list the top 5 model Indian villages that are an inspiration for everyone – even the urbanites.
Model Indian Villages – 1: Punsari in Gujarat
Located in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district is a small village named Punsari. This village can give every urbanite an inferiority complex and put metro cities of India to shame. With a population of 5,500 villagers, this village is a mini urban city of sorts. Schools have been fitted with CCTV cameras and air conditioners. 25 additional CCTV cameras installed at important road junctions keep litterbugs from making the village dirty. The village has 24X7 power supply using a 66KV sub-station.
The transport system of the village consists of mini-buses and there is a separate bus service called Atal Express which is meant only for women who import milk. 120 waterproof speakers installed at various corners of the village help the sarpanch to make important announcements without the need for a gathering. There is WiFi connection too and it is free for everyone to use. At 4 rupees per liter, clean drinking water is available to every villager and they too have an accident cover of rupees 1 lakh for everyone. This magical transformation happened because the village sarpanch along with the villagers made optimal use of government schemes.
Model Indian Villages – 2: Dharnai in Bihar
Talk of Bihar and the first image comes to mind is poverty. However, the village named Dharnai located in Jehanabad district near Bodh Gaya is a rising star. For years, the villagers asked government for electricity but when all pleas fell on deaf ears. When India was experiencing unprecedented growth, Dharnai was still in the dark ages (just like most of the Indian villages). There was no electricity and the only time the children could study was in the day time. The women of the village were afraid to go out after dark. The villagers were pissed off and decided to do something.
The took the matter to their own and contacted an organization named Greenpeace. With the help of the organization, the villagers had solar-powered micro-grids installed. Today the entire village has 24×7 electricity supply from a renewable source. All 450 households and in addition to that 50 commercial establishments get electric supply without the need of any government intervention. Today Dharnai is India’s first village to be totally solar powered and because of this remarkable feat, the village has become an innovation leader and is totally self-sufficient in terms of energy. Small industries are growing quickly, pushing Dharnai more and more towards growth with every passing day.
Model Indian Villages – 3: Hiware Bazar – the Village of Millionaires in Maharashtra
If you think only urbanites can be millionaires, think again! Hiware Bazar village located in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district has a different story to narrate. The story of Hiware Bazar is a scripted miracle. A true story of rags to riches. A village which was once plagued by problems of drinking water, improper irrigation, drought, substance addiction and mass exodus, is today a village of millionaires. Of slightly over 200 families living in the village today, an incredible number of 60 families have become millionaires.
The credit for this goes to the sarpanch of the village – Mr. Popatrao Pawar who took charge in 1989 and by 1990 closed all retail outlets of alcohol and then started a developmental phase and within 12 years, the per capita income of villagers increased to INR 30,000 in 2012 from INR 830 in 1995. Today there are 60 families who have become millionaires with a yearly income of INR 10 lakhs or more. There is virtually no poverty in village except for 3 families. Today, it is a model village of India and it all happened because one man tried to change the very face of Hiware Bazar. He succeeded!
Model Indian Villages – 4: Bekkinakeri in Karnataka – No More Open Defecation
It is said that cleanliness is next to godliness. The Bekinakeri village in Karnataka is achieved that but solving the problem of open defecation. A very unusual method was adopted by the villagers. First people were asked not to defecate openly. However, the plea of the village council was clearly ignored by the people who practiced the act. So, the village council members took a weird step.
Instead of forcing people, they started visiting people at the defecation sites early in the morning and greeted them a very good morning right in the middle of the business. The result was obvious. The perpetrators were too embarrassed and eventually they stopped completely. Today, no one in the village defecates openly.
Model Indian Villages – 5: Chappar in Haryana – Birth of a Girl Child is Celebrated with Sweets
Indian villages have a very poor image when it comes to female infanticide. When most of the country is fighting this pathetic and inhuman practice of female infanticide, one village in Haryana has set an example for the whole country. The village goes by the name Chappar. The sarpanch of this village is a woman named Neelam. She successfully managed to change the attitude of villagers towards the female children.
When Haryana as a whole is dealing with the problem of low female ratio (as a matter of fact Haryana is one of the states with lowest sex male to female ratio), this village actually celebrates the birth of girl child. Whether it is a boy or a girl, newborns are greeted with distribution of sweets as well as various festivities. Females in this village no longer wear ghunghat (veil) and enjoy equal rights as males.
While these are the model villages of India, there are some more that are worth mentioning. Here is a quick list of those villages:
- Mawlynnong in Meghalaya – The cleanest village in whole of Asia. It promotes eco-tourism. Read more about this village here.
- Shani Shingnapur in Maharashtra – The village is so safe that there are no doors in any household. UCO bank opened a no-locks bank because of zero crime rate.
- Kokrebellur in Karnataka – A village where birds are treated as family and are not looked upon as creatures that destroy crops. Special resting place for birds has been allocated for wounded birds to heal.
- Ballia in Uttar Pradesh – The villagers solved the problem of arsenic poisoning on their own without any aid.
- Pothanikkad in Kerala – First village in India to achieve 100% literacy and has schools that maintains standards of city schools.
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