This weekend IRMA Social Entrepreneurship cell organized a visit to Punsari village that has been declared as an ideal village of INDIA. The Sarpanch, Mr. Himanshu Patel has played an important role in the development of this village in the last 6 years of his tenure. Before 2006 it was any other ordinary village of Gujarat facing the problem of drinking water, sanitation, poor infrastructure and maintenance of the same. Due to his work, Punsari village has been recognized by MoRD as well as state Chief Minster, Mr. Narendra Modi.
The village is located in Sabarkatha District of Gujarat and has a total population of 6000 comprising of 23 different caste and communities. This village has no NGO and no NRI funding. 98% of the population is engaged in agriculture or dairy activities. Still CCTV camera monitoring system, Mineral water plant for all, CC roads, Centrally ac government school that too with all panchayat funds will amaze you. When people told us about this village, we could not trust that. But visiting it make us realize the power of commitment and a good visionary leader.
There is online sound system which is audible in all the streets and households of the village. Everyday Mahtama Gandhi's bhajans and other devotional music are played in the morning (6:30 to 7:30) and evening( 6:30 to 7:00). There are total 120 such waterproof speakers all over the village. This system is used for sending information about various schemes of government as well as all other important alerts. Sarpanch phone is connected to this system and he can deliver any message to the villagers from anywhere. It was very obvious with such a technology that all the schemes are utilized to the maximum extent in this village. Taking inspiration from this village, Mr. Narendra Modi has allocated many crores to install such system in all the villages of Gujarat.
CCTV cameras have been installed in the village. This has not only helped in monitoring staff but also in improving overall sanitation in the village, reducing violence and improving discipline in the village.
Initially clean drinking water was a problem. Now the village has its own mineral water plant. The water is supplied to all the households at nominal charges and even BPL families get it free of cost. This mineral water plant also outsource the water to other villages. Panchayat has its own tanker which supply water on special occasions.
It is interesting to know how people were motivated to pay taxes by giving them dustbins as a gift. This has also improved cleanliness in the village at the same time increasing tax collection level to 90 %. Every morning and evening a trolley collects waste from the households.
In the last 6-7 years, there have been no cases of infant mortality, maternal deaths and female suicides which were very common earlier. There are 2 MBBS doctors permanently appointed at the PHC centers and Asha workers are active. Number of women SHGs has increased from 2 to 111 and women community has strengthened. Many small enterprises are set up by these SHGs.
To Be continued...