Friday, January 8, 2016

Cleanest Village in India - Asia too

Mawlynnong is a village located 90 km from Shillong, along the India-Bangladesh border in the East Khasi Hills district of the Meghalaya state, India. Mawlynnong is famous for its matrilineal society as well as having been dubbed Asia's cleanest village.

It comes under the Pynursla community development block and Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly) constituency.

As of June 2015 it had 500 residents.As of 2011, there are about 82 households. As of 2014, there are about 95 households in Mawlynnong.The literacy rate is 100%. Agriculture is the chief occupation of the local population, with betel nut being the main crop. The people residing in the community are Khasi people.

As is the tradition of the Khasi people, in Mawlynnong property and wealth are passed from the mother to the youngest of her daughters, who also keeps the mother's surname.
Mawlynnong is known for its cleanliness. The waste is collected in the dustbins made of bamboo, directed to a pit and then used as manure. The travel magazine Discover India declared the village as the cleanest in Asia in 2003, and the cleanest in India in 2005. The phrase has since caught on. Moasunep Kichu's documentary on the village, for instance, is called Asia's Cleanest Village.

It has a toilet in every house. There are bamboo waste baskets on each road to ensure that there is no littering. Children as young as four learn at school to keep their surroundings clean.

Cleanliness as a way of life came to Mawlynnong, a village of 503, long before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his Swachh Bharat or clean India campaign. The village cherishes the title of "Asia's cleanest village" given to it by India Discovery Magazine in 2003.
By 2007, the village had eradicated the practice of open defecation, with toilets built for each of its 91 households under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan.
"This village is clean from my childhood. We heard it was so even during our grandmother's days. Keeping it clean is the responsibility of each and every one," says Remdor Khongphosrem, a resident.
Littering even by the very young is frowned upon and if any among the 200-odd tourists who visit the village every day are found to throw things on the streets, they are issued stern warnings. The number of tourists that visit Mawlynnong has gone up after the India Discovery report.

Another resident Sumar says proudly, "All over the world people know us as the cleanest village so people come here."

One of them, Karlin from Germany, has been camping in the village for the last 11 weeks. She is here on a photography assignment after discovering Mawlynnong on the internet.

"I have met lots of friends in Mawlynnong. I have seen so many Indian villages, but compared to others, it is very clean and the gardens are unique. Everyone takes care of nature, that is the main thing about Mawlynnong. It is a paradise for me," Karlin says.

The villagers are confident that Mawlynnong will continue to live up to its pristine reputation. In the village's three schools, the next generation is already learning how to keep it in the record books for the right reasons.

All the credit for this cleanliness goes too the fellow villagers and their community. They are not dependent on anyone for aid. They feel responsible and do their duties with full dedication and determination. And you can see the results. All walkways are decorated with flower vines. Beautiful orchid are everywhere on trees adding colors. You literally have to re-think if its a village or a botanical garden you are in.

Mawlynnong, located about 90 km from Shillong and 92 kms from Cherrapunjee, can be reached by road The nearest airport is the Shillong Airport in Meghalaya. The best way to reach Mawlynnong is by road.

For more details you can go to this link