Mawlynnong, located in the state of Meghalaya, is the cleanest village in India. Here, cleanliness comes naturally to everyone — from toddlers to the aged.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who through his Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has been attempting to create a clean India, in a radio address in 2015 declared Mawlynnong a model for the entire country to emulate.
Situated 100 km from Shillong, this village has had houses with fully functional toilets since 2007. Bamboo dustbins have been installed outside each house and even fallen leaves go right into them. Smoking, as well as the use of plastic, is strictly banned in this village.
The rules set by the village are followed by one and all, and defaulters are strictly penalised. The garbage which is dug into the pit is utilised as manure. The inhabitants of the village do not just keep their houses clean but also step out to clean the streets and plant trees.
Both adults and children do this cleaning on a daily basis, and on Saturdays, the village leader assigns them any extra work that needs to be done. This extra work is for the good of the entire society and includes tasks like cleaning the school, and so on. Here in this village, the importance of cleanliness is deeply ingrained in people’s minds rights from childhood.
Mostly inhabited by the Khasi tribes, Mawlynnong, a strongly matriarchal society, has a 100 percent literacy rate.
With a population of 600-odd people, Mawlynnong was awarded the title of the ‘cleanest village in Asia’ in 2003 and ‘cleanest village in India’ in 2005 by Discover India. With the cleanliness, 100 percent literacy rate, and women’s empowerment — things we can only dream of — this village is aptly known as ‘God’s Own Garden’.