Ransapara, a village in Assam's Goalpara district, which had bagged the title of the 'cleanest village' in the state, reopened its doors for the tourists amid the on-going coronavirus pandemic.
The village has, however, put in place strict precautionary measures including mandatory wearing of a mask and following the social distancing norms while allowing the tourists inside the village.
According to media reports, the village is not just liquor and alcohol-free, but it has also not reported any incident of crime over the past several years—making it a role model for the state as well as the country.
Journey Of Becoming The Cleanest Village
Ransapara was declared the 'Cleanest Village of Assam' in 2016-17 by the state government and the villagers were awarded a cash prize of ₹5 lakh. However, the journey of the residents to turn their home into the country's one of the cleanest tourist attraction started two decades ago.
According to EastMojo, the village has been conducting weekly cleanliness drive for that last 20 years. The residents are penalised if they miss out on participating in the drive. Interestingly, in all these years, not a single villager had to pay the fine since they see the initiative as a crucial community-building step ensuring ideal health and hygiene conditions.
In 2000, the villagers formed a managing committee passed resolutions to focus on four aspects— peace and unity, clean and hygienic toilets, clean drinking water and cleaning the village.
The community cleanliness drive is conducted twice a week. On Wednesdays, the drive is carried out by the men of the village while on Saturdays, the women take up the cleaning activity.
Although the penalty for missing out on the drive is a meagre sum of ₹30 for men and ₹15 for women, the locals have never missed out on being a part of the initiative.
"We never intended to be the cleanest village but keeping our courtyards and the village clean was a part of our daily activity. Meanwhile, the youths also worked for beautification of the village. Since then, we have been carrying out cleanliness drives twice a week and if someone fails to be present, they will have to pay a fine. The penalty is ₹30 for men and ₹15 for women," said village headman Robert John Momin.
He further added that the village heads never got a chance to penalise anyone because "everyone happily takes part in the drives".