The sketch that is created in our minds, when we talk about Indian villages, is full of dusty, rough roads, shortage of water and electricity and dysfunctional schools.
However, the Punsari village, located 90 km away from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, will change your idea of how a modern Indian village would look like.
The Urbanized Punsari Village of Gujarat
Situated in the Sabarkantha district in the state of Gujarat, the Punsari village leaves no stone unturned when it comes to “Empowering Rural India”. The village has a lot of modern facilities, some of which are only present in metro cities. Some of them are:
- Concrete roads
- Solar powered street lamps
- RO water purification unit
- Primary health center
- Completely managed drainage and sanitary system
- Banking facility and
- A toilet in every house
Punsari is also a proud owner of a fully air conditioned primary school premises. It is equipped with smart education technology, whiteboards, CCTVs and WiFi connectivity. The school has its own bus service which is run by the village Panchayat.
Punsari: The Smart Village Model
The Sarpanch of Punsari, Himanshu Patel, elected in the year 2006, took the responsibility of transforming the small village of Punsari into a Village Empowerment Model.
Mr. Patel mentions that the village had no amenities and just looked like any other village, when he was appointed Sarpanch. The Panchayat of the village was dependent on grants that it used to get from rural schemes offered by the state. Also, there was no NRI finance flowing in. Hence, his team of 11 Panchayat members decided to use the funds offered by the state government in the right direction. They started generating revenue from the land they had at their disposal.
Mr. Patel and his team have managed to upgrade Punsari village over eight long years with a total expenditure of 16 crores. They have managed to inculcate some state as well as national leveldevelopment programmes, to create a village with strong infrastructure.
Breaking The Records
For all the effort Mr. Himanshu Patel, put in to urbanize his village was, no doubt, inspirational and needed recognition. The third National Panchayat Raj Day held on November, 2011 was a memorable event. Mr. Patel received the award for Best Gram Sabha from the former Chief Minister and current Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi.
Towards Using The Punsari Model
The way Mr. Patel and his team had put the fund and schemes of the state and national government, into use, was worth taking note of. For this purpose, the Secretary of the Rural Development Ministry, paid a detailed visit to the Punsari village. He studied and understood the layout and usage of the latest technologies. This was much needed as the Punsari Village would now behave as a model for other villages across 640 districts, all over the nation.
The visits were insisted by PM Mr. Narendra Modi and more than 300 officials have studied the village maintenance and management in detail, ever since.
Mr. Patel adds that with proper planning and smart use of resources, his model for an ideal upgraded smart village can easily be replicated. With the help of smart people, appropriate planning and a corruption-free system, every village can become a smart village.
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