(aka Ralegan Shindi) is a village in Parner Taluka of Ahmednagar District
, India. It is considered a model of environmental conservation
. Since 1975
, led by Anna Hazare
, the village has carried out programs like treeplanting
to reduce soil erosion
and digging canals
to retain rainwater. For energy, the village uses solar power
(some generated from the communal toilet
) and a windmill
The village's biggest accomplishment is in non-conventional energy. For example, all the village streets are lit by solar lights. Each light has a separate solar panel.
In 1975 the village was afflicted by drought
, poverty prevailed, and illicit liquor trade was widespread. The village tank
could not hold water as the embankment dam
wall leaked. Work began with the percolation
tank construction. Hazare encouraged the villagers to donate their labor to repair the embankment. Once this was fixed, the seven wells below filled with water in the summer for the first time in memory.
Now the village has water year round, as well as a grain bank, a milk bank, and a school. There is no longer any poverty.
The World Bank Group
has concluded that the village of Ralegan Siddi was transformed from a highly degraded village ecosystem in a semi-arid region of extreme poverty to one of the richest in the country. The Ralegan Siddi example, now 25 years old, by demonstrating that it is possible to rebuild natural capital in partnership with the local economy, is a model for the rest of the country.
The project began in 1975, therefore is 33 years old now. It is a sustainable model of a village republic.