Cleanliness, Sustainability, Women and Community: How a Model Village has revamped everything!
India is on a steady path of becoming 'swachh' in its right terms, and appropriate connotations. (Recent ODF award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is proof of results.) Assam has been crucial in this path, to actualise this reality.
And what strides we have made since 2014, when the Swachh Bharat Mission was released in 2nd October, 2014.
To aid to this mission, we as a country were asked and urged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not compromise on sustainability also.
This promoted the ban on plastic. Taking inspiration from this vision, and under the leadership of Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal, variegated steps were taken to ban the single use plastic (SUP) and march towards the goal of making India greener and cleaner.
A little village called Belona, was quietly implementing these steps and internalising cleanliness and sustainability as a way of life.
In 2016, with the new BJP Government, and the ideal of cleanliness and greenery being enshrined, they were given an important impetus through the State Government. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal went as far as declaring Belona as the cleanest and greenest village in Assam.
This model village is now plastic-free, green and what more, the women were pivotal in this campaign! They gather in the village and make newspaper bags which they distribute to the shops and other business establishments in and around Pathsala town.
“Our village is 100 per cent plastic-free and if someone is seen using plastic we fined a sum of Rs 501. We have also planted tree saplings in and around the village which will make Belona a green village and in the coming years we will be identified as a model village.” a local resident said to MMB.
Awareness is key to any green initiative, and the villages from young to oldest are fully aware of the ill effects of plastic and the need for going green. One local resident mentioned that plastic is a threat to the environment and if people want to live a long and healthier life, they should completely ban using plastic products and plant more trees. They did not just stop there! The locals of Belona are so environment-friendly, in fact, that the locals impose a fine of Rs. 501 on anyone who is seen using single-use plastics.
This model village gives to us an opportunity to go out there and make the entire State something to emulate to.
And of course, it has us feeling proud and inspired! For more news like this, follow @ManuheManuhorbabe1 on Twitter and on Facebook.