19-09-2017 11:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Punsari village is setting an excellent example for all
A village in Gujarat is breaking all stereotype of Indian villages by emerging as a smart village and setting an example of how a modern village will look like. Punsari village, situated in Sabarkantha district, 90 km away from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, boasts of amenities and modern facilities, some of which are present only in metro cities.
To begin with, the village has concrete roads that are arrayed with solar powered street lamps. It has RO water purification unit as well as a primary health centre. The drainage and sanitary system are managed very efficiently. There is a toilet in every house. Villagers can also avail of banking facilities.
When we think of a village, the picture of a dysfunctional school comes to our mind, but the fully air-conditioned primary school is the pride of Punsari. 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.
All these factors set the village apart. The credit goes to the Sarpanch of Punsari, Himanshu Patel who was elected in the year 2006. He had big dreams for the village which was realized by his sincere efforts to transform the small village into a Village Empowerment Model.
When Mr. Patel took charge, Punsari was like any other village lacking in the necessary amenities. The Panchayat received meagre funds from the state, so it was decided to put whatever land was available to good use so as to generate extra revenue.
With no NRI finance flowing in, Patel and his team of 11 Panchayat members decided to use the funds offered by the state government in the right direction. Their efforts bore fruit after eight long years as Punsari village transformed into a smart village with all the modern amenities. The total expenditure incurred was about 16 crores.
The inspirational work of Mr. Patel to urbanize his village didn’t go unnoticed. At the event of the third National Panchayat Raj Day held on November 2011, Mr. Patel was felicitated and honoured with the award for Best Gram Sabha from the former Chief Minister and current Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi.
Soon, Punsari village became a model for other villages across 640 districts, all over the nation. On the insistence of PM Mr. Narendra Modi, more than 300 officials have studied the village maintenance and management in detail. The Secretary of the Rural Development Ministry, paid a detailed visit to the Punsari village to study and understand the layout and usage of the latest technologies.
Mr. Patel claims that his model of a smart and modern village can be replicated with proper planning and smart use of resources. Smart people, appropriate planning and a corruption-free system are all that is needed to convert every village into a smart village.
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