More than half of India’s population live in the villages. Development of rural India has become an extremely important affair as migrations to urban areas have become an increasingly popular trend. For India’s future to grow it has become extremely important to address rural issues such as poor sanitation facilities, lack of natural resources, growing demand for land and hence deforestation etc.
Despite the hardships, many villages are trying to remain relevant and adapt to changes without losing their valued traditions and skills that have survived down the ages. Some of these villages have been successful in achieving great levels of development.
5 Villages in India that have shown exemplary development include:
1. Dharnai, Bihar
Dharnai a village in the Jehanabad district of Bihar, has now attained the status of being India’s first village to run completely on solar power. Earlier, the village struggled to receive adequate electricity supply. They were dependent on diesel-based generators and hazardous fuel like cow dung to meet the electricity requirement for decades. These ways were not only unhealthy but also costly, However, the village has been successful in changing its fate completely as now electricity generated from solar power supports more than 2400 people in the village.
2. Payvihir, Maharashtra
Payvihir is an obscure village in the foothills of the Melghat region in Maharashtra. The village has set an example in promoting afforestation by converting a 182-hectare barren land under the Community Forest Right( CFR) into a forest through joint efforts by the community and NGO. The village also received the Biodiversity Award from the United Nation’s Development Programme (UNDP). In addition, the village has also started selling organic custard apples grown on this land under their own brand “Naturals Melghat”.
3. Kokrebellur, Karnataka
Kokrebellur is a small village in Maddur taluk district of Karnataka. The village portrays the perfect example of harmonious coexistence between humans and birds. The village is home to a number of rare species of birds that can be found in the backyard of homes in this village. Even though the village is not a bird sanctuary, the love and affection shown by the villagers towards the birds and their treatment as a family makes this village full of mesmerizing and unusual sights. They have also created a small area for wounded birds to rest. This has made the birds friendly and they allow people to get very close to them.
4. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
Mawlynnong is a small village in Meghalaya which has received the title of the ‘Cleanest Village’ in India and Asia. This title is the result of joint community efforts that portray that self-discipline and self-monitoring can cause wonders. The use of plastic is prohibited in this village, the paths are spotless and lined with flowers, bamboo dustbins stand at every corner. Tidying up is a ritual here and everybody in the village volunteers to sweep the street at regular intervals. These initiatives have enhanced the beauty of the village manifold.
5. Eraviperoor, Kerala
At a time where people are talking about the Digital India Initiative and being skeptical about its success, Eraviperoor village in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala is already leading by example. The village is the first Gram Panchayat that has installed free Wi-fi for the general public. In addition, the village also leads in terms of its healthcare facilities as it is the first panchayat in the state to get ISO-9001 certification for its Primary Health Centre.