By Anurag Paul
Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Maharashtra, often coined as the best village of Modern India and the best example of ‘Gram Swaraj’ (Self Governance) has been the main source of media attention. Anna Hazare is often credited with this change.
There is one more village in Maharashtra, Hivre Bazar, about 45 Kms from Ralegan Siddhi and chances are that you have already heard of it. It is another village, which is a living example of Gram Swaraj and now a place to be visited for sure if you want to see how a few hundred people can change the destiny of a village by their labor, long term planning and logistics management of natural resources.
But, there is one village which is miles ahead in development and social commitment if we compare it with the work done in Ralegan Siddhi or Hiwre Bazaar by its villagers. Known as Baghuvar, it is the only village in India which has functioned without a Sarpanch since independence, and that too efficiently.
Located in the block Kareli of district Narsinghpur in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Baghuvar sets an example of an ideal village in modern India. It shows the way how people can love their villages and stop fleeing to cities for employment for a better life.
Baghuvar village has set an example of exemplary development and real Gram Swaraj. It does not have an Anna or a Popat Rao. Every villager of this small habitat is Anna himself.
No Panchayat Election
This is very unique about this village that there has been no Panchayat (Sarpanch) Election since India’s independence (68 years). Initial decisions related to work and development were lead by most respected person of the village called “Bhaiya Ji”. He worked day and night and took some very good decisions about village development. He got support from most of the villagers thus the village followed his shown path. In 2012 he breathed his last but the villagers still follow his dream and keep the village clean.
Effective utilization of government schemes
In this black age of corruption, none of the schemes reach a village in its true spirit and implementation; the money doesn’t reach up to the villagers at all. Hence, the government schemes go unsuccessful. But, in this village none of the government schemes fail because the villagers know how to effectively utilize development funds.
Sewage & Water Harvesting
What is striking at the very first sight once you reach this village is that there is no overflow of sewage in any street of the village, a very rare thing to see even the most developed cities of India. The village has underground sewage lines and the farm ponds have been built to conserve the rain water.
Exemplary Self Development
Baghuvar boasts of the highest number of Gobar gas plants in the state. It has altogether 51 Gobar gas plants which are used to produce fuel for cooking and lighting the village. There are 35 tractors, 75 sugarcane processing machines, 25 hand pumps and threshers in the village which houses only 1600 people. To keep the village clean, 25 pits have been dug by Gram Panchayat for pouring the filth. These pits are auctioned every year and the money generated is utilized for Panchayat development.
Ghar Ghar Shauchalay
All the houses in Baghuvar have lavatories. There is also a common toilet complex which is made for the use if there is any social gathering in the village. Each locality is unique in cleanliness and decency. Especially, Harijan locality is the best in this regard where people go for a morning walk.
Green Village-Clean Village
Each and every corner of the village is green as if the entire village is a garden! There is no garbage and sanitation problem. People who migrated to nearby cities have started coming back to the village for resettlement.
They are now utilizing their experience, talent and knowledge for village development. When there was no approach road, the youth themselves constructed a three km road in the village. Impressed with their efforts, the government helped them in constructing the cement road which connects the village to the national Highway.