first smart village in northeast India. Barsimaluguri in Baksa district
A remote village in Assam along the Indo-Bhutan border has become the first smart village in northeast India. Barsimaluguri in Baksa district has become a model ‘smart village’ after achieving 100% toilets, solar power, and pure drinking water. Here are five things you need to know about the village. The project was led by villagers Dinesh Bhuyan and Dipu Choudhury.
1. The initiative was started by the Nanda Talukdar Foundation
“There are more than 20,000 villages in Assam with numerous government schemes being implemented, but none has been transformed into a smart village. We decided to concentrate on one village and turn it into a model village, independent of government schemes,” NTF Secretary Mrinal Talukdar told The Times of India.
“We have worked along four main verticals – alternative energy, drinking water, sanitation and skill development and also initiated several other intervention works ranging from development of educational facilities, playgrounds, health and legal camps along with the establishment of a yarn bank,” says Mrinal. Mrinal currently heads NGO Nanda Talukdar Foundation (NTF).
The foundation roped in Anirudh Goswami, working in Delhi, and Surajit Dutta, based in Bengaluru, for a project to turn backward Barsimaluguri into a modern village full of facilities. Anirudh provided technical and organisational support to the NTF, which managed to convince a leading financial PSU to fund the initiative, while Surajit served as the project leader.
The NTF project was shortlisted by Himachal Pradesh-based consultancy HIMCON, which in turn roped in donor India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) to underwrite it.
2. THE MODEL VILLAGE WORKING COMMITTEE FIRST SET UP WATER PURIFICATION PLANTS IN THE VILLAGE
Now, this is the first village to have a reverse osmosis plant in the region. After the water treatment plant was set up, the next on the list was construction of toilets. As many as 100 toilets were constructed and then the houses in the village were solar electrified. Solar home kits – consisting of a battery, solar panel, transformer, three LED lights and one fan – were give to 100 households. Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited helped provide technical assistance in setting up these panels.
3. THE PROJECT WAS SPONSORED BY INDIA INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCE CORPORATION LIMITED
4. HOUSEHOLDS GOT TOILETS AND ACCESS TO SOLAR POWER
5. THE VILLAGE HAS A YARN BANK NOW
The yarn bank that was set up in the village is being managed by the village women committee. ‘Health is wealth’ and several other checkup camps have been conducted in the village.