India’s rural population is always deprived from lack of basic amenities, including sanitation, health, waste management, water, electricity and roads. However, a remote village of Baghuwar in Madhya Pradesh, located at a distance of 15 km from Narsinghpur, has set an exemplary example in every field – from health and sanitation to education and waste management.
What’s more fascinating is that Baghuwar became an open defecation-free village in the year 2007 itself – even before the launch of Prime Minister’s much-acclaimed ‘Swachh Bharat’ programme. With around 2,500 to 3,000 people in the village, each and every home is equipped with a toilet along with a common toilet complex for community functions. The village also has a well-functioning underground sewage system and over 55 biogas plants that produce fuel fused for cooking and illuminating homes. The cow dung used for biogas generation is collected in 25 pits that have been constructed across the village. An annual auction is organized for the sale of this cow dung and the income generated is used for the upliftment of the village.
The residents also pay a lot of attention to water management and environmental conservation. Unusable water from connected underground outlets are collected in a well and recycled before being assimilated into bigger water bodies. With this in mind, several ponds and small reservoirs have been built across the village.
This initiative has also led to efficient rainwater harvesting. The results can be seen in the improved micro-climate of the village as well as the increase in the groundwater table (earlier at a depth of 150 feet, the water table has now reason to 15 feet). Thanks to its unique way of water conservation, today Baghuwar has enough water to survive drought-like conditions for years!