Odisha small village has been running on the path of development

Residents of Guadang Gorjang, a tiny village in Odisha's Gajapati district, take the mantra of self-help seriously. The village has access to clean water, electricity and smokeless chulhas.

At the crack of dawn every Saturday, the women of Guadang Gorjang, a tiny village in Odisha's Gajapati district, 350km from the state capital Bhubaneshwar, assemble at the village square.

Splitting into three groups, they head off to clean roads and drains. Before settling down to their daily chores, they sit with local Anganwadi workers and learn about children's immunization and the need to enroll them in schools. They also learn about using toilets correctly and exchange notes on how to make their men give up alcohol abuse.

Guadang Gorjang may be barely a dot on the map, but over the past two years, this village of 54 households has seen an astonishing change, showing the way forward to others. The 260 villagers are of the Lanjia Soura tribe, one of 13 particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) of the state.

PVTGs are characterized by pre-agricultural levels of technology, a declining population, very low literacy, and a subsistence economy. The Lanjia Soura belong to the Shabar umbrella category of tribes, number around 24,000 and are spread across Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

Guadang Gorjang fell under the NGO's 'model village' scheme, which envisages community-based care of children and access to education and other facilities. Besides, the scheme aims at making villages free of litigation, violence, alcohol and tobacco abuse. Also part of the vision is a reduction in migration and better livelihood opportunities for women.

Today, drinking water is provided to the villagers from a bore well at the center of Guadang Gorjang, while electricity comes from the government.

image credit: amarujala

Source: TOI

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