Indian villages always have been carrying a unique nostalgic charm for fellow urban Indians, and treasure islands to discover for newcomers. स्वच्छ हवा (clean air), ধানের জমি (paddy fields), தேயிலை தோட்டத்தில் (tea gardens), કાદવ ઘર (mud house), നദിയുടെ മത്സ്യം(river fish), ਰਾਈ ਖੇਤਰ (mustard fields) – these are among the pretty and wonderful memories we associate with our villages. Unfortunately some of these feelings are waning off slowly, mostly because of bad and biased media paint.
But here is a little fact file. Some of the गाँव are way better than any metros. And these instances are to prove that.
Mawlynnong – Cleanest village in Asia
With 500 residents, literacy rate more than 90%, located around 90 kms from Shillong in the state of Meghalaya, Mawlynnong is famous for its cleanliness and sanitation. Visitors claim they haven’t seen a single plastic bag in the vicinity.
Dharnai – First fully solar powered village
With the aid of Greenpeace, Dharnai, a village in Bihar, declared itself an energy-independent village. With more than 2400 residents not at all dependent on regular electricity supply, Dharnai has been a role model for many of those high profile claimers.
Hiware Bazar – village with 50 millionaires
Statistics: in 1995, only a tenth of the village’s land was arable and 168 of its 182 families were below the poverty line. By 2010, the average income of the village had increased twenty-fold – 50 of the villagers had become millionaires (in Indian rupees), and only 3 families were below the poverty line. The grass harvest increased from 100 tonnes in 2000 to 6,000 tonnes in 2004, and the milk production rose from 150 litres a day in the mid-1990s to 4,000 in 2010. Meet Hiware Bazar, a village located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.
Kokrebellur – village of bird lovers
The uniqueness in Kokkarebellur is the long established bonding between the spot-billed pelicans and the villagers who have adopted this bird as their heritage. The benefits derived by the villagers from these birds are basically in the form of phosphorus and potassium rich manure obtained from the bird droppings (also known as guano). Further, over the years, the popularity of this uniqueness has also attracted tourists to the village to watch the birds.
Shani Shingnapur – village with no locks
Touted as the safest village in India, this place is known for its lack of doors to houses, even some houses have doors, absolutely none of them are locked. Not just that, there is no police station in the village. And, no report of theft or burglary etc. Believe it or not, even the banks do not have locks in their premises! Pioneer!
Punsari – WiFi, CCTv, AC Classroom, and more…
Located around 80 kms from Gandhinagar, Gujarat, Punsari would put many metros to shame. With almost all the houses having private broadband internet connection, schools are all AC classrooms, CCTv put across all the roads & lanes; but still people are grounded and humble. Example of adopting modernization, but not urbanization.
Pothanikkad – 100% literate
This village is Kerala has one hundred percent of literacy rate – it is the first village in India to achieve this feat.