SILCHAR, Oct 15 - The future of India lies in its villages. This famous utterance from Mahatma Gandhi seems ever more pertinent for villagers of Sheorartal, the cleanest village in Cachar district.
At a time when the ever-expanding busy urban population of the district is literally struggling to gauge the benefits of keeping the surroundings clean, Kachari people belonging to around 150 families in the village at Hawaithang Forest Range under Dholai constituency around 50 km from Silchar next to the Assam -Mizoram border have set an example by helping each other to earn the recognition of the cleanest village in the district under the �Swachhata Hi Seva� drive that concluded on October 2.
Dibakar Barman, secretary of Dickro Hasom, local NGO told The Assam Tribune, �we are not yet properly connected to the mainstream as the roads are not motorable. We reach our homes by crossing the Sonai river. However, people of our village understand the need for sanitation, a cleaner and trash-free vicinity and we have bamboo baskets to dump wastes. The baskets are kept at imporant locations like the LP school, health centre and market places for public use.�
He further informed that initially, there were hicckups in convincing the fellow villagers about the need for using toilets. Eventually, they could realise that the steps taken are meant for better and healthy living and at a later time extended total support to the cause.
On the other hand, while sharing her experiences after giving a surprise visit to the village, Paulami Chakraborty from the Swachha Bharat Mission (Grameen) in Cachar district said that among 1015 villages in the district, Sheorartal village stands out to be the most consistent village where the people and the NGO worked in tandem towards cleanliness. �Other villages were also found to be clean, but the awareness levels of students regarding hygiene and handwashing, maintaining the old PHE water treatment plant, segregation of the dry waste and inclination of villagers towards using toilets, people of the village have displayed exemplary performance,� Chakraborty said. She was quick to inform that the village had been nominated for the cleanest village in the State earlier in April this year.
Meanwhile, in the words of Deputy Commissioner Dr S Laxmanan, �the awareness level of the villagers regarding cleanliness is surprising. I am happy to see that they were doing the chores for their well-being and happiness and the award is a worthy recognition to their inspiring efforts.�