All we can see around us nowadays is a world struggling to deal with global warming, high pollution, melting of glaciers, and contaminated water resources. World leaders are holding frequent meetings, seminars, and conventions to devise ideas for reducing pollution. Despite all the initiatives, our surrounding is getting worse day by day.
On the other hand, there’s a village in India which remains untouched by any of it. Did you know this village reminisces the environment of maybe, the 1700s? Titled as the “cleanest village in Asia,” Mawlynnong has achieved total cleanliness. Besides, the place is also famous for achieving 100% literacy and preaches women empowerment like no other village.
Contribution of the villagers to keep the Village Clean
As you walk through the village street, you’d notice everything is made naturally. Unlike cities & metros, where people use materials that adversely affect the surrounding, the villagers choose to take care of the environment by using natural materials. Let’s begin from the houses in which they reside. You can notice thatched huts with beautiful gardens along the street. Every hut has bamboo baskets as dustbins on the outside. Guesthouses are designed in a way that resembles a treehouse.
Instead of cement and concrete, the bridge here is made from the roots of rubber trees. They are twisted to hold the bridge together. Khasi villagers, the natives, have constructed bridges like this all across Cherrapunjee. The intertwined roots form a path over the water.
You’d notice public toilets built across the village. Local people take care of sweeping, weeding, and cleaning. Every villager contributes to keeping the village roads and toilets clean. Even small kids are taught to pick up trash from the road and dump it inside the bin. Here, cleanliness flows in their blood; therefore, from toddlers to adults, everybody feels responsible for keeping the village clean.
Along with sanitation, the village also has an efficient water supply system. Since one of the major sources of pollution is plastic, the villagers have imposed a ban on it. Along with the banning of plastic, smoking inside the village is also prohibited.
Women dominate society
While there are world-wide protests and agitations led by women regarding sexual harassment, patriarchy, and equal pay, there lies in a village called Mawlynnong, where it’s the women who dominate society. You’d be surprised to know about the culture of Mawlynnong, as it is very different from the rest of the states.
After marriage, here the wife stays with her parents, and it’s the husband who has to change his home. Also, when it comes to inheritance, villagers follow matrilineage; as a result, the child takes up the surname of the mother. With a strong women empowerment, the village has set an example not only for the country but also for the whole world. This shows the ability to convince, and effort can empower women, despite their financial condition.
Awards and Recognitions
In the year 2003, the village was honored with the title of the “cleanest village of Asia.” And you’ll understand its significance only when you pay a visit to this magical paradise. Also, the IGBC or Indian Green Building Council has awarded the village, based on certain standards that Mawlynnong managed to achieve. In 2016, the 14th edition was held in Mumbai, and Meghalaya’s joint director, K.M. Momin, was honored with the award. Discover India also gave it the title of “Cleanest village of India” in the year 2005. No wonder why people often call it “God’s Own Garden.” Mawlynnong has nearly achieved everything that the rest of the world is struggling to get.
How to Reach?
If you want to enjoy the scenic beauty of northern roads, then you can opt for a bus. Buses frequently flock to the village from Shillong and Cherapunji. Also, the road is in very good condition and won’t make you feel exhausted by the time you reach there.
Nearest Railway Station: Being 172 km distant, Guwahati railway station is considered to be the nearest railway station from the cleanest city of Asia. To reach your destination, get a taxi or a bus.
Nearest Airport: Shillong airport is the closest toMawlynnong. The distance of 78km between them can be covered by hiring a taxi or taking a bus.
The villagers are as calm & beautiful as the village is. If you want to experience how heaven feels like, you should definitely plan a trip to this place. It’s enticing to see how people have adhered to their customs and behavior. They’ve shown to the world that becoming self-sufficient is possible without damaging the environment. Once you reach here, you’ll notice how warm and welcoming the natives are. So, start packing your bag and book your tickets right away!