Seventy percent of population of India lives in villages. It is the dire need of the hour to set the pace to furnish projects for further developments within village units and communities.
A remote non-decrepit, insurgency-ravaged village in Assam along the Indo-Bhutan border has earned the distinction of being Northeast’s first smart village. About 11 km from the Indo-Bhutan border, Barsimaluguri in Baksa district has been turned into a model ‘smart village’ with hundred per cent toilets, solar power and pure drinking water, following an initiative taken by a few individuals under the aegis of Nanda Talukdar Foundation (NTF).
Here are some facts about this model village which can be an example for many others to follow suit.
1. The first work initiated by the model village working committee was setting up the water purification plant and now this village is perhaps the only one in the region to have a reverse osmosis plant.
2. According to project coordinator Surajit Dutta, the next step was to set up toilets as most households practised open defecation. “The target was to set up hundred toilets within a year and the task was not easy, particularly during the monsoon but we did manage to complete it at a cost of Rs 16,000 each, ” said Dutta.
3. Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam once while interacting with children said that the most important invention that he felt was electricity. Bringing a ray of light for the villagers, the solar power initiative was seen to be deemed compulsory to homes as well as for street lightning. Solar Home kits were provided to hundred households and the Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited helped with technical assistance is setting up these panels.
4. Skill development was given major priority to solve unemployment to a certain extent and the need for skill- based employment. Several training programmes conducted for weaving, cutting and tailoring along with basic computer courses were discussed with trainees to maximise their skills and turn it into revenue streams. A yarn bank has also been set up in the village which will be managed by the Village Women Committee with an initial deposit of 40 kg of yarn made by Nanda Talukdar Foundation(NTF).
5. ‘Health is Wealth, several health camps were conducted during the year with free cataract operations being also carried out along with legal and financial awareness camps.
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