This AP village has many lessons to teach
From regular power and water supply to a scientific water filtration plant, a community owned cable TV service and concrete, well-lit roads, Gangadevipalli has been steadily gaining in prosperity thanks to a disciplined and determined community that has also managed to work in harmony towards goals set collectively.
The village, about 200 km north of the state capital Hyderabad, has won several awards, including the “Nirmal Gram Puraskar” for health and hygiene.
Now, the village headman has been invited to Nepal to recount Gangadevipalli’s success story.
“Our village has been stealing the limelight for all the right reasons. I have now been invited to Nepal to explain how we work so cohesively,” headman K Rajamouli said.
With a population of a little over 1,300, the village has 100 per cent adult literacy. The school dropout rate has been zero since 2000.
“The unity of the village and the realisation of the need for community development are at the root of the achievements of Gangadevipalli,” says S S Reddy of Bala Vikasa Social Service Society, an NGO that has been working closely with villagers.
The village has over two dozen committees, which manage areas like health and hygiene, the provision of drinking water, cable television and literacy.
Another remarkable achievement for the village is that its married population under the age of 35 does not have more than two children.
The village now boasts 100 per cent survival of new-born babies, their inoculation and immunisation, as well as regular vaccination of children below five. The supply of nutritious food to children and pregnant and lactating women, along with regular health check-ups, is also among the unique achievements of the village. The gender ratio of women and men is almost the same. Each woman is also a member of a self-help group, making a significant contribution to the family income.
Apart from having savings of at least Rs10,000 each, every family has a life insurance policy, prompting authorities to give the village the “Beema Gram” award. The farmers’ development panel looks into improvements in agriculture; experts explore ways of increasing productivity as well as reducing farming costs.