Issue 14


Edited by : Kavita Ingale

Ever heard about a school in village having zero dropout rate? Or a "gaav" having speakers all over and playing bhajans,shlokas and slogans of Gandhi? Or having mini-buses for transport? Seems like a fiction, right? But Baroda Beat brings to you a real projection of this - "Punsari", a village in Sabarkantha district. And we got a chance to interact with the man himself who made this possible. Mr.Himanshubhai Patel,an extremely humble personality who agreed for interview just overaphonecall.

Himanshubhai is the sarpanch of our very own wi-fi village "punsari" and all which is punsari today-is a fruit of his enormous efforts.In his interview,he revealed how he did not only work hard,but also smart ,too.He was elected as sarpanch of punsari at the age of 23 in year 2006.Under "sansad gram Yojana",It is declared to be Model village and Kenyan Government is studying the rural setup and adopting this concept in their country.Also,Punsari has won the "Best gram sabha Award" for 3 times.and efforts of Sarpanch is recognized by both state and central Government. Here are the glimpses of the chat with him.

Que.) The idea of the punsari village-the wifi village-it is unique and has never been practiced before anywhere in the world,how did you get the idea?

Ans.) I wanted to make my village a projection of the thought-"Aatma gam no,Suvidha sheher ni"(soul of rural,facilities of urban)and with that thought,I started working and step by step,we-I and my villagers constructed punsari,providing all the facilities,still not loosing the real essence of village.

Que.) So,everybody gets really curious on hearing the term wifi village-what exactly punsari is and what facilities are being provided here?

Ans.) Punsari is basically a "Rurban" concept which lies on the borderlines of rural and urban.In whole village,There is wi-fi network available and a villager can buy a modem from Panchayat at minimal rate and then enjoy the free wifi at home. As most of the villagers are into Dairy and Agriculture,making milk reach to milk collection centre is a task.For that,Punsari provides a Minibus for transport. Schools are well equipped with CCTV cameras,which helps parents to directly keep watch on their wards' studies and progress in the academics. Punsari has its own RO plant system installed and villagers can buy pure water in just 4rs. Per 20litre.

Que.) This much development for sure can not be carried out single handedly,how did you involve villagers In it?

Ans.) My Motto is to make a sustainable development,and for that along with facilities and technological advancements,change in people's mindset was important.People should be interested in bringing the change.For that,exposure is important.We made "Skill Development Centre" in village,which provides various kind of vocational trainings.Also,There are Self help groups headed and managed by one Kamlaben.This how,I made them capable of helping themselves.

Que.) These many facilities,development surely requires some financial backup,how to work it out?<

Ans.) Yes,finance seems to be a problem,but all this development is through government schemes only.i simply linked government schemes to our ideas and today punsari is what it is today.and it is possible to make every village like punsari if invested through government schemes smartly.

Que.) Best gram sabha awards,best gram award by our current P.M. Narendra Modi,how does it feel to achieve this much at such young age?

Ans.) All this awards ,recognitions are definitely valueable ,but it sides subsidery when it comes to satisfaction,I have worked for my own village,my people-their wellbeing,I could give something back to my home gives me self-satisfaction.Getting tokens and credits for that comes afterwards.

Que.) One last question,any advice for youth?

Ans.) First is work hard.another,no matter whichever field you belong to,be it Management,Medical,Engineer-start your work from village-take first experience from there,it will benefit you .and always work looking for self-satisfaction,everything else is secondary.

About the Author:

Sonali Pandit

Sonali Pandit is the Creative Content Director of Baroda Beat.A voracious reader and workaholic by nature, she is the perfect blend of work ethics.She takes care of the content that is put on the website but can work equally well in marketing and event management.

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