Would you believe if I told you Asia’s cleanest village is in India? We might be struggling with keeping our streets clean, but Meghalaya’s Mawlynnong did Swachh Bharat even before the idea came into inception as a national movement.
Roaming around in North East, you realize how this much-ignored part of our nation is worthy of all the notice. Untouched forests and clearest blue rivers are a hallmark of our seven sisters, but there’s much more. The literacy rate of North eastern states is at an all time high with Tripura leading the parade, beating rich states like Maharashtra, Gujarat at it.
This all started with the small village of Mawlynnong. Mawlynnong was the first village in North east to achieve 100% literacy rate benchmark, without much help of infrastructure or resources from the Government.
In a country where open defecation still remains a matter of national concern, each house of this village has a hygienic and well-functioning waste management system since over a decade now. Cleanliness is the utmost priority here, with a dustbin outside every house and shop. Mawlynnong lives like one big family, with every member looking out for the big home, even if it means cleaning the streets not just one’s own house. The concern for cleanliness stems from the concern for the environment.
Plastic and polythene bags have been banned since 2007, the villagers have substituted them with the bamboo leaf made bags. The Khasi tribe living in Mawlynnong has found their god in the forests and the waterfalls. One look at the Mawlynnong waterfall and you’ll see how devoted they are to preserving their Gods. UNESCO now recognizes Mawlynnong’s living root bridge as a world heritage.
This village at the India Bangladesh border sees a footfall of an average twenty thousand tourists a month, yet unlike any other tourist place, it remains pure and untouched.
Despite the lack of Government’s attention, the locals are an epitome for the rest of the nation to cause the change they need, and not just wait for it. Mawlynnong, the cleanest village of Asia, stands tall as a shining example of modernity without harming the nature.