This Telangana village adopted Swachh Bharat 20 years ago

This Telangana village adopted Swachh Bharat 20 years ago

This Telangana village adopted Swachh Bharat 20 years ago

Once a sleepy hamlet, Gangadevipally, located 175 km from Hyderabad, is now drawing policy makers and politicians.

The village is clean and has well-lit roads. Purified water is supplied to every household through a community-managed filtration plant. From 100 per cent literacy to a toilet in every household and zero school-dropout rate, the village is smarter than cities. The cable TV service is, again, community-owned. Interestingly, prohibition has been in place here for over 20 years.

With a population of 1,300, Gangadevipally is one of the three villages identified by the central government as “Model Villages” based on a set of parameters. The other two villages are located in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Gangadevipally found a mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech during the launch of “Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana”, for adopting community-based development model to achieve all round success.

On Monday, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao launched “Grama Jyothi” programme from here and sanctioned Rs 10 crore for further development. The village became unique because, instead of depending on the government and politicians, the villagers got their act together and started improving the facilities through community-based initiatives. Each family has been involved in the development of the village through 25 citizens’ committees.

During the last 15 years, the village has bagged numerous national and state awards, including “Nirmal Gram Puraskar”, for its community-based efforts and also won the best Gram Panchayat in the state award six times in the last 15 years. IT sector giant Google has picked Gangadevipally as the best Gram Panchayat and gave Rs 5 lakh as reward. “It has been a perilous but a fulfilling journey for all of us. Now, we are attracting wide attention. Every citizen of the village is proud of their achievements and living with dignity and security,” Village Development Committee president and former Sarpanch K Rajamouli told reporters.

Another unique achievement of the village is total prohibition. “We have liquor prohibition in force since 1982. Some people go to neighbouring villages to consume liquor but their number is very low,” said Rajamouli, who is seen as the main force behind the village transformation.

Another important feature is family planning. No family has more than two children.