Punsari, a small village located in Gujarat, can put most metros to shame. From CCTV cameras, water purifying plants, air-conditioned schools, Wi-Fi, and biometric machines, this village has it all. Every home here has toilets. There are two primary schools, a primary health centre, proper street lights and a drainage system that functions.
The man behind the transformation of the village is its young sarpanch, Himanshu Patel. Having won the panchayat elections in 2006, when he was just 23, Himanshu has put his heart and soul into transforming Punsari. In an interview with the BBC, Himanshu said, “When I took over, there was nothing in the village. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the state chief minister at the time and his idea was to ebb the flow of migration from villages to cities by creating city-like infrastructure.”
Over the next decade, Himanshu, a graduate of North Gujarat University, channelised government funds and started to develop the village, focusing on education, healthcare, and technology. Interestingly, Punsari has not taken any additional funds over what was given to them by the government. “We didn’t feel the need, since there is enough from various budgetary grants of the state and Centre. If you utilise it properly, you can work wonders,” Himanshu told NDTV.
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