In an apt example of community participation, the villagers of Soulmari Part II Village in Assam’s Dhubri district conduct a cleaning drive in the village every Sunday.
The village is situated at a distance of 16 kilometers away from Dhubri town.
Donning masks and with brooms in hand, these villagers move out of their homes every Sunday morning to clean their locality.
The once dusty streets and ponds full of weeds now bear a clean look, making the village pleasing to the eye.
The huge potholes on the streets have also been repaired through their joint efforts.
“The villagers had resolved to transform the village into a healthy and hospitable place during an awareness meeting in September,” said Mahabul Hossain, an educationist and senior citizen of the village.
People belonging to different communities have together taken the initiative to improve the environment and sanitation of the village without awaiting any assistance from the village panchayat or district administration.
Realization dawned on the villagers of the village environment being unhealthy during the months-long.
Garbage and wastes were littered all around.
The village pond too was replete with weeds and shrubs.
“Initially, people were hesitant to participate in the cleaning drive. Only a few youths had turned up,” said Hossain.
Gradually, members of all households began joining in the drive.
While the women clean the areas surrounding their houses, the men clean the streets, bridges, lanes, by-lanes, ponds, schools and religious places in the village.
Meanwhile, the villagers have demanded that the local administration take measures to repair the huge potholes near a bridge in the village that have posed a threat to commuters.