GUEST BLOG POST BY STUDENT AMBASSADOR:
MIKAELA STILLINGS (8TH GRADE)
Hiware Bazar, located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra is the richest village in India. The village’s overall population is 1,250 with the average income being 30,000 Indian Rupees per month. That’s around 485.00 US Dollars per month, but in an Indian economy it’s living large! There are 235 families, and out of those, 60 are millionaires. A couple of years ago Hiware Bazar was one of the most drought prone areas in Maharashtra. Because of the lack of water the fields went barren and people migrated. The families that stayed started to gamble, drink, and fight mainly out of desperation. The village was in tatters.
Around the same time Popatrao Pawar , the only postgraduate here, took charge and convinced the villagers to close down the 22 liquor shops. He also got banks to loan to the poor farmers. He started rainwater harvesting and water conservation programs. With the rising groundwater, the village began to flourish.
The village now has 294 open wells each brimming with water. The groundwater is no longer a problem. People are coming back from cities. The number of families increased from 90 to 235. Farmers are collaborating and everyone is benefitting.
This story could be considered a miracle. The way the city bounced back after hitting an all time low is astounding. With the help of one inspired leader the village is flourishing and everyone is happy. The farmers are back at work. The families have easy access to water and not to mention everyone living there is highly fortunate and have massive amounts of money for such a poor country. Hiware Bazar is an amazing village of people working together to better the community. With the help of Popatrao Pawar the community is striving with people who are making a lot of money and who care about the village. The village is in it’s best condition due to the effort from villagers.
We love hearing about the good in people, especially when it initiates change with water resources. Kudos to Mr. Pawar and the other leaders in Hiware Bazar!