Meghalaya, Nov 20: On the edges of India's north-east, along the Bangladesh border, Mawlynnong is a small village in Meghalaya. This is said to be the cleanest village in Asia.
This village has been maintaing cleanliness long before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for Swachch Bharat.
It would come as a surprise to all of us but the moment we enter the village we can understand why this village has been tagged as the cleanest in the continent. At the entrance, there is a long list of Do's and Dont's on how to keep the village clean.
'Welcome to Mawlynnong -- God's Own Garden' - reads a tin board at the entrance where tourists pay an entry fee of Rs 50 for a visit.
There is a toilet in every house in the village. Beside this, bamboo waste baskets are placed on the roads to ensure that there is no littering. Also, the cleanliness of the village is the sole responsibility of every villager. The locals keep the surroundings clean, roads clean, throw garbage in the dustbin.
The village was given "Asia's cleanest village" tag by India Discovery Magazine in 2003. The village has also won the acclaim of being the cleanest village in India in 2005.
According to reports, the village had eradicated the open defecation practice in 2007.
There are less than hundred homes in this small, quiet village. Most of the villagers are involved in agriculture like betelnut, grass for making brooms and bay leaves. Vegetables and fruits are bought at the twice-weekly border market.
There is a small public health centre in the next village, while the nearest hospital is in Shillong, 90 kilometres away. Villagers use local tribal household remedies for ailments.