5 popular and inspiring eco-villages you must visit in India
With deforestation, privatization, and pollution on the rise, there are still some people who restore our faith in humanity and its dependence on Mother Nature. India is home to some eco-villages that have been practicing sustainability over the years. Eco-villages are small self-sufficient communities that prefer living in natural surroundings to remain ecologically sustainable. Here are five inspiring and must-visit eco-villages in India.
Piplantri in Rajasthan
The Piplantri village in Rajasthan gained popularity after it started a unique movement to plant trees whenever a girl child was born. The villagers have a ritual to plant 111 trees each time a woman gives birth to a female child to honor the little one. This aims to eliminate gender-based discrimination and add to the state's green cover as well.
Khonoma in Nagaland
A popular tourist destination in Nagaland, Khonoma is a beautiful self-sustaining village that houses the 700-year-old Angami settlement. This village is known as the world's first green village. Once a center of the freedom struggle, it has put a ban on all hunting activities and focuses on preserving the natural habitat, ancestral roots, and cultural heritage. The village also practices shifting cultivation.
Baghuwar in Madhya Pradesh
Located in Madhya Pradesh's Narsinghpur district, the Baghuwar village has had no leader or sarpanch since independence. In 2007, it achieved total sanitation to become an open defecation-free (ODF) village. The village has an underground sewage treatment setup and more than 55 biogas plants that supply fuel for cooking and illuminating homes. This green, sustainable, and self-reliant village also has a 100% literacy rate.
Hiware Bazaar in Maharashtra
Located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, Hiware Bazaar village is popularly known for its irrigation system and the water conservation program, which helped tackle the severe drought of 1972. In the 1990s, the villagers stopped farming water-intensive crops and started dairy farming and horticulture along with other water-saving measures that helped replenish the groundwater level. The village also has 300 water-filled open wells.
Odanthurai in Tamil Nadu
Located in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore district, this beautiful eco-village is well-known for becoming self-sufficient in terms of energy. The electricity here is derived through renewable energy practices. The village is home to a windmill with a 350-kilowatt capacity. Out of the 6.75 lakh units of electricity it generates, nearly two lakh units are sold to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.