Two magical stories from Rural India. Both are from Maharashtra, the karmabhumi of Anna Hazare.
1. A village with 60 millionaires!
Once impoverished and drought-prone, Hiware Bazar in Maharashtra is a shining example of how a visionary leader can use good governance to make degraded areas resource-rich and transform the future of its people through empowerment and inspiration.
Such success stories abound in this village that has 235 families and a population of about 1,250. In 1995, the monthly per capita income was around Rs. 830. Now, it has crossed Rs. 30,000.
In the mid-1990’s, milk production was just about 150 litres a day. It has touched over 4,000 litres a day today.
2. How a single man can create a revolution
Lokhande reckoned early on that village youth placed a premium on computer literacy and the acquisition of general knowledge. Accordingly, he asked individuals and companies to donate their old computers which he then installed in village schools. Close to 70,000 schools have benefited from this project so far.
He also started rural libraries with contributions from well-wishers — whom he calls 'non-resident villagers'. The books cover a range of subjects — from folk tales to science, from history to how-to-do-it manuals, from biographies to the wonders of the world. Within less than two years he has opened well over a thousand rural libraries.