Pune: Pucca houses, clean roads, water supply at 7 am, lush green fields are sights such that are rare even in the most developed of towns, but Hiware Bazar near Pune is a unique and successful experiment. Its story is unique as it presents an alternate model of development based on simple methods.
Techniques such as water conservation, population control, mandatory HIV tests for couples have been initiated which have changed the face of Hiware Bazar and put it on the World Map.
The turnaround for the village began at the time when Popat Rao Pawar became the Sarpanch of the village in 1989. "The situation here was so bad that a girl would be married in return for a bottle of alcohol," Rao said.
"Participatory approach is very important. Because of it, despite drought for last 3 years, we have earned around Rs 14 crore in just 10 months. NREGA pays Rs 162 per day. But we at Hiware Bazar give Rs 225 per day plus food while the farmers work here," Rao added.
The workers too are happy as they are getting the payments for their efforts on time. "We work here because we get paid well and on time," a worker said.
Apart from taking a path breaking road in new developments, Hiware Bazar has also been a trailblazer when it comes to women's rights. The nameplates of each home bear the name of the woman of the household. To add to this, the village gives parents Rs 25,000 on the birth of a girl child. HIV tests have also been made mandatory for everyone before marriage in the village.
"Our sarpanch has done a lot of work for our development," a girl said.
Maharashtra is aiming to create 5 model villages like Hiware Bazar in every district of the state with Popat Rao Pawar as the Chairman of the Committee implementing this programme.