OUPHULIA (DIBRUGARH), Sept 18 - In a historic development, Ouphulia village under Tingkhong LAC earned the distinction of being the first village in the State to interact live with Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing on Saturday during the launch of �Swachhata Hi Seva� movement in the country.
Schoolchildren in Ouphulia were the first to interact with the Prime Minister from among a cross-section of people representing some 18 locations of the country during the launch of the Swachhata movement.
In the video conferencing, Modi made an appeal for re-dedication towards swachhata (cleanliness). To the interacting students, the Prime Minister said: �Let us resolve to engage rigorously and with rejuvenated spirit in cleanliness drives till October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti). When you become the centre of any mission, the success rate increases. If youths resolve to do anything, they really do it. You are ambassadors of social change. So study hard, be successful and become the torch-bearers of the nation.�
Jitumoni Taye, a Class-XII student of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya while interacting with the Prime Minister on behalf of the students� community, explained how the youths and the villagers were carrying out the Swachhata Mission in the village.
�We were inspired by cleanliness only after you sowed the seed of swachhata in 2014. Thereafter, we have maintained our village and today it is one of the most beautiful and cleanest villages in the country. All households have toilets, roads and drains are clean, dustbins are installed on roadsides and beautification has been done with flower pots along the roads. We seek to make our village a model village,� Taye told the Prime Minister.
The campus of Ouphulia High School, where the video conferencing was organised was jam-packed with students and teachers of more than 20 nearby schools even as hundreds from nearby villages flocked to witness the video conferencing.
The event stirred up the spirits of the people, particularly the youths in carrying forward the activities of the swachhata mission, Deputy Commissioner Laya Madduri told newsmen. Local MLA Bimal Borah said that the swachhata abhiyan has already become a people�s movement and is making palpable difference.
It needs to be mentioned here that Ouphulia village has been recognised as one the cleanest villages in the country. The village recently bagged the Swachhata award comprising a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh from the district administration. They have also benefitted from a drinking water project with an estimated worth of Rs 25 lakh. Ouphulia Panchayat as a whole was declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) in 2015.
The youths and the villagers in Ouphulia, which is mainly inhabited by Sonowal Kacharis, attribute their success in cleanliness to Dipankar Hazarika, Madan Hazarika and Juganto Hazarika.
�We were motivated by the three. They initiated the cleanliness drive, use of toilets, sapling plantation and maintaining discipline in the locality. They came up with Dos and Don�ts in the form of a constitution to keep the surrounding clean, and all have accepted it,� Firoj Borah, a youth from the village told The Assam Tribune.
Dipankar Hazarika, a graduate youth who is spearheading the cleanliness drive in the village said that he was motivated after visiting Asia�s cleanest village Mawlynnong in Meghalaya and Gangtok in Sikkim.
�Our activities are driven by our motto � �Mission Clean and Green Ouphulia�, said Dipankar. The villagers have planted saplings on either sides of all major roads and have installed dustbins on roadsides. They undertake cleanliness drive on Sundays.