Why is Punsari a role model?

Punsari village, barely 100 km from Ahmedabad, could be a textbook case of development. Closed-circuit cameras, water purifying plants, air-conditioned schools, Wi-Fi, biometric machines - the village has it all. And all of it was done in a matter of eight years, at a cost of a mere Rs. 16 crore.

The man behind the transformation is its young sarpanch - Himanshu Patel. A graduate from North Gujarat University, Mr Patel had won the panchayat polls in 2006, at the age of 23.

Back then, the village didn't even have proper roads, power or water. The panchayat funds were in deficit. Mr Patel found though money come aplenty, it was the utilisation that's at fault.

Over the next eight years, together with the district administration, he stitched up funds from under various heads - the District Planning Commission, Backward Regional Grant Fund, 12th Finance Commission, and those under Self Help Group Yojnas - and began the development of the village.

The results are obvious. Even a team from the Central ministries of rural and urban development had come to study the "Punsari model".

Interestingly, Mr Patel has not asked for a penny from the MLA fund, and over the last eight years, the village has just got Rs. 1 lakh from the MP fund.

Activity

Find out about other urban development models done at least cost.

To Reflect Upon

bulletHow do each of us make attempts to positively bring about some changes in our own small environment?