Wednesday, June 30

Hiware Bazaar : Going green at the grassroots - and blossoming

Where there is will, theirs a way. Yesterday via CNBC came through this interesting story about Hiware Bazaar, a small village in Maharashtra which is like a Oasis in Dought Ridden Maharashtra. The Sarpanch and the Panchayat have a ambitious plan for 2005 that , nobody in the village should be below the poverty line and without a piece of land. They also ensure that villagers have access to loans and ensure that loan is used effeciently for the right purpose. Hiware bazaar has some wonderful water reservation plans like banning of certain crops, banning on digging borewells and the beauty is that villagers and farmers do understand this restrictions and now also witness & party to the benefits. By this example we can say that "the probelm is not that people don't have the solutions, the problem is that people don't get the problems right ?." Once you get the problem right you have easy solutions and big results.

The achievements of Hiware Bazaar and others are highlighted in the Planning Commission of India report : WATER The Water Women: A Case Study of Tank Restoration. [ The report is in PDF : To download , Right click the link and choose "Save Target As".]

Adarsh Gaon

In 1993, three years after a serious village led community development process was underway, Hiware Bazaar was recognized by the Government of Maharashtra as an ‘Adarsh Gaon’ (ideal village). Under a government program that sought to identify the most promising locations of village development in each district, the Hiware Bazaar story was highlighted to the government machinery and to the people at large. In many ways this was because it quickly learnt from the experiences of village development from itsmore famous neighbor of the last decade, Ralegao Siddhi.. By adopting the four tenets of Anna Hazare's work, Charabandhi (ban on grazing), Nashabandhi (ban on alcohol) Nassbandhi (family planning) and Katbandhi (ban on deforestation), it appealed to planners and politicians alike.

The results of this recognition, besides having monetary benefits for various developments were enormous. Access to government and bureaucratic machinery was greatly increased as a consequence of this. As a result, villageleaders now report few difficulties while trying to access the bureaucratic structure of the government. Most officials were extremely cooperative and eager to enhance the successes of their efforts.

Over the years, therefore, the village of Hiware Bazaar has reportedly used the infrastructure and benefit of many government and quasi government agencies for village development works. These are:

1. Yashwant Krishi Panlot Sanstha- NGO headed by the sarpanch, (recipient of Adarsh Gav Yojna) funded nalla bunding, aforestations, storage bandharas, and boulder/ earthen structures

2. Forest Department- Van-tale, aforestation

3. Agriculture department- Bunding

4. Minor Irrigation dept- Percolation tanks

5. Rural Sanitation programme- Construction of toilets

6. ?- Subsidies for Biogas, solar energy

7. MH Govt.– watershed training institute

8. ICAR and Mahatma Phule Agricultural University- increasing dry crop yields under Jawahar research scheme

Related Links :

* Going green at the grassroots - and blossoming