Maharashtra was shocked at the intensity of the recent female foeticide racket in Parli (Beed). While one Marathwada district has put our heads down in shame, there is another one, Latur, which is making the headlines for all the right reasons. A small village called Anandwadi in the Nilanga taluka will make you feel proud beyond measure. What has the village exactly done? Well, let’s take a look, shall we?
This extraordinary village has about 165 houses and ALL of them are owned by women! The decision was taken by the Gram Sabha after one of the villagers came up with the idea. Here is what a member of the gram sabha says,
- “Like we bring the goddess Laxmi to our house every Diwali, we decided to honour our Laxmis (wives/daughters) by taking this decision. Women shouldn’t feel the need to be dependent on anyone, since they run the home. Why shouldn’t they also own it? This will also help to get rid of the patriarchal mindset of people.”
Some people have even gone ahead and also transferred the fields in the name of the women. The nameplate of the houses bears the women’s name along with their phone numbers!
This village has identified one of the root causes of why girls are unwanted and they decided to take measures to change that. Madhav Nagmode, a resident, says,
“Since last year, we have been announcing a date on which mass weddings will be conducted and the entire cost is to borne by. We all contribute, and this takes away one big cause of worry that a daughter’s father has.”
This year the date for the marriages is 29th April!
Not only this but Anandwadi has also taken steps to improve the health of its people and has also brought down the crime rate dramatically. This is the list of its achievement:
- So, this tiny village with a population of only 635 people has been crime free for 15 years! Yes, that’s right not even a single police case has been registered.
- It has been awarded the best village award under the ‘dispute-free village scheme’.
- All the adults in the village have pledged to donate their organs. While some have also offered to donate their bodies for medical research.
- “From now on the village has taken the responsibility of looking after the health of its residents. So smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking are strictly banned here,” said the sarpanch Bhagyashree Chame.
Doesn’t it sound like too good to be true? Most of us associate villages to the word ‘backward’ but we fail to take into account such highly progressive villages which put the cities to shame!
This is what democracy is all about. A citizen coming up with a suggestion and the gram sabha accepting it with the consent of all its people. It is so good to see villages progressing. India will move forward only when the villages do and this village gives me hope that we are in the right direction!
News Source: Times Of India
Cover Image used is representational