Travel

Eco Villages In India You Must Visit

A large part of India's population still lives in villages, some of which have emerged as centers of experimentation on sustainable living over the years

Eco Villages In India You Must Visit
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Despite the rampant deforestation, privatization of green lands, and release of toxic gas in the open air, there are still some initiatives by certain people that don't let us leave our faith in humanity and its dependence on Mother Nature. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that though cities like Delhi and Mumbai attract a lot of tourists every year, a large part of the country's population still lives in villages, some of which have emerged as centers of experimentation on sustainable living over the years. Here's a look at five eco villages in India you must visit. 
 
Khonoma, Nagaland 
Home to the 700-year-old Angami settlement, this self-sustaining village in Nagaland is India's first green village. The villagers are focused on the conservation of their natural habitat while managing to preserve their ancestral roots and cultural heritage. The community has also banned all hunting activities in the village. Furthermore, the villagers follow jhum or shifting cultivation, which enriches the soil from within. 
 
Piplantri, Rajasthan 
In Piplantri village, villagers plant a total of 111 trees whenever a girl child is born. This serves two purposes: overturning the gender-based discrimination and violence still prevalent in Rajasthan and increasing the state's green cover. The villagers have planted almost a million trees in the last fourteen years! This has also helped in boosting the livelihood of the villagers. 
 
Odanthurai, Tamil Nadu  
Located in district Coimbatore, this village is known widely for becoming self-sufficient in electricity generation. It has a windmill of 350-kilowatt capacity. Interestingly, the village sells nearly two lakh units of electricity out of the 6.75 lakh units it generates to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board and is making a revenue of more than Rs 20 lakh a year. 
 
Baghuwar, Madhya Pradesh 
Baghuwar, located in the Narsinghpur district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, achieved total sanitation to become an Open Defecation-Free (ODF) village in 2007, seven years before the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched. The village also has an underground sewage system and over 55 biogas plants that produce fuel for cooking and illuminating homes. The cow dung used for biogas generation is collected in 25 pits constructed across the village. An annual auction is organized to sell this cow dung, and the income generated is used to uplift the village. Another achievement of Baghuwar is its 100 percent literacy rate, with every villager able to read and write. 
 
Hiware Bazaar, Maharashtra 
This village, located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, is known for its irrigation system and water conservation program, which helped it fight a severe drought that struck the village in 1972. In the 1990s, the villagers decided to give up farming water-intensive crops and started focusing on horticulture and dairy farming. In 2012, the village, with its 235 families and an overall population of 1,250, had a monthly per capita income of Rs 30,000, up from Rs. 830 in 1995. It also had 60 families with an annual income of over 10 Lakh rupees. 

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