Topics: Water pollution, Waterborne diseases, Water treatment Pages: 6 (1858 words) Published: February 27, 2014
Ralegan Siddhi (Marathi: राळेगण सिद्धी) is a village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar District, Maharashtra state in western India. It is located at a distance of 87 km from Pune. The village has an area of 982.31 ha (1991). It is considered a model of environmental conservation. The village has carried out programs like tree planting, terracing to reduce soil erosion and digging canals to retain rainwater. For energy, the village uses solar power, biogas (some generated from the community toilet) and a windmill.[1] The project is heralded as a sustainable model of a village republic. The village's biggest accomplishment is in its use of non-conventional energy. For example, all the village street lights each have separate solar panels.[2] The village is headed by a Sarpanch who is the chief of the Gram Panchayat (village panchayat). Watershed development

In 1975 the village was afflicted by drought, poverty prevailed, and trade in illicit liquor was widespread. The village tank could not hold water as the embankment dam wall leaked. Work began with the percolation tank construction. Hazare encouraged the villagers to donate their labour to repair the embankment. Once this was fixed, the seven wells below filled with water in the summer for the first time in memory.[4] Now the village has water year round, as well as a grain bank, a milk bank, and a school. There is no longer any poverty.[5] Model village

The World Bank Group has concluded that the village of Ralegan Siddhi was transformed from a highly degraded village ecosystem in a semi-arid region of extreme poverty to one of the richest in the country. The Ralegan Siddhi example, now 25 years old, by demonstrating that it is possible to rebuild natural capital in partnership with the local economy, is a model for the rest of the country.[6] Anna Hazare

Indian social activist Anna Hazare, Sarpanch of the village, is accredited to help in the development of the village. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan—the third-highest civilian award—by the Government of India in 1992 for his efforts in establishing this village as a model for others.[7] We have all read about suicides in Vidharbha, crushing poverty in the villages of the nation. But here is the story of a village, that is truly a testimony of The Better India.

Hiware Bazar, situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra is India’s model village. The village with the highest GDP in the country.

Ensconced in the rain shadow area of the Sahyadari range , Hiware Bazar faced an acute water crisis and severe land degradation during the 1970s. Each resident of Hiware Bazar village earns almost double of most of the country’s rural population. Throughout the 1980s, the village had a rain fed farming situation which resulted in limited seasonal agriculture and forced the farmers to migrate to surrounding towns and cities for work. The village therefore was deprived of its sole source of income – agriculture and the inhabitants turned to local liquor production and selling, giving rise to criminal activities. Hiware Bazar Village Before Developmental Initiatives

Driven by a desire to improve the condition of the village, Popatrao Baguji Pawar came back to the village from Ahmednagar. In 1990, he won the elections and became the sarpanch. From there began the transformation of Hiware Bazar. A five pronged approach has been adopted for the socio-economic infrastructure of the village that includes : 1. Free labour

2. Ban on Grazing
3. Ban on Tree Cutting
4. Ban on Liquor
5. Family Planning
Shramdan has inculcated a work culture among the local people, making Hiware Bazar a model for community development. Ban of grazing & cutting trees has tremendously increased the production of grass and reforestation. Due to the family planning programme (One Family One Child) , the birth rate has been brought down to 11 per thousand.  The Hiware Bazar Gram Sabha instituted a watershed development programme and...
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