FROM A CORRESPONDENT
LBARI, Feb 14: A nondescript insurgency-affected village in the foothills of Bhutan in Baksa district of Assam has emerged as the first ‘Smart Village’ of the Northeast India , stated a press release. This was made possible with a non-governmental effort in the past one year.
Barsimlaguri, about 18 km north of lbari town, was poor village, having all the classical characteristics of backwardness, till the nda Talukdar Foundation (NTF) stepped in exactly a year ago.
After convincing a leading fincial PSU for a CSR initiative in the village, the NTF moved in systemically to work primarily in four verticals with full technical and organizatiol support from Anirudh Goswami of New Delhi. “The verticals are altertive energy, sanitation, clean water and skill development besides hordes of other intervention ranging from bus stand for school children and playground improvement,” said NTF secretary and senior jourlist Mril Talukdar.
“We first formed a project implementation team led by Surajit Dutta, who had quit his jobs in Bangalore to work in the villages. His persol sacrifice made work easy for us. Our next move was to construct 100 toilets and the RO water plant,” said Goswami who coordited the operation from New Delhi.
Braving the initial challenges of logistics as well as quality manpower, the constriction of 100 toilets was completed in three phases as it was slowed down by heavy monsoon and slow supply of raw materials in the deep interior.
“After setting up Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant, the village became the first one in the region to have such a plant producing mineral water at the rate of 500 litres per hour. It was specially a huge success as the villagers were drinking iron-laden water resulting in serious stomach problems,” said Talukdar.
Now the village development committee (VDC) has taken over the operation. They are taking Rs 120 per month from the families for 20 litres of water. From that money, the committee has engaged a caretaker and remaining money is being used for maintence and expansion work.
However, the brightest part was the solar component as 100 houses were given solar kit and another 75 streetlights were installed. “Now the whole village remained illumited at night and passing vehicles as well as people stop by to see the difference,” said Dinesh Bhuyan, president of the VDC.