In the span of 20 years, Popatrao Pawar transformed his drought-struck poverty-ridden village Hiware Bazar, Maharashtra into one of the best models India has seen. Read on to see how every Indian has the power to bring about change.
This post originally appeared on Quora in Ankesh Porwal’s Blog.
The first thing Pawar did was get rid of the 22 illicit liquor dens, ban consumption of liquor all together, and ban tobacco and gutkha. Then he inspired the villagers to pitch in to build dams and dig ponds to trap the little rain that came in. This new water management system helped immensely as the wells soon filled.
Not wanting to take change for granted, Pawar got water audits done so that there was a close check on water availability. Water was never wasted, as selfless villagers built 52 earthen bunds, 2 percolation tanks, 32 stone bunds and 9 check dams—All through the use of the same government funds available to any other village.
Before 1995, there were 90 open wells with water at 80-125 feet, whereas today, there are 294 open wells with water at 15-40 feet. Farming flourished as Pawar got farmers to invest in milch cattle, making milk the new gold of the village. While milk production was only 150 litres per day in 1995, today, it has crossed the 4,000 litre threshold!
Now there are decent-looking houses all over and villagers look content, glowing with happiness. The monthly per capita income has crossed Rs.30,000 & in a village of 235 families and 1,250 individuals, there are 60 millionaires!
Hiware Bazar has shown that stimulating change is easy. All it requires is good leadership and the political will to empower others in rising to a better future.
Source: Hiware Bazar
Read More: One village. 60 millionaires. The miracle of Hiware Bazar
Find more such interesting stories on Ankesh Porwal’s blog – Being Indian.