Even before Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’ to make India clean and open defecation free, there was a village in the north eastern part of the country which was known for its cleanliness.
Mawlynnong, a remote village in Meghalaya, is known for not only its natural beauty but for the cleanliness and has been dubbed ‘Asia’s Cleanest Village’.
The residents of the environmentally conscious village have zero tolerance for littering and have managed to retain that title for so long.
There are dustbins spread across the village which are cleaned regularly.
The village, with a total population of nearly 500, does not have sanitation workers and every villager is entrusted with keeping their home and the environment clean.
Mawlynnong, which falls under the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, also has a 100 per cent literacy rate where most of the villagers are fluent in English, although they use the regional language to communicate among themselves.
Every morning, 90 families of the village clean their home as well as the surrounding area. And every Saturday, the villagers clean the village and take out the waste. The biodegradable wastage as leaves are buried and used as manure while other type of trash is taken away from the village and burned.
Materials such as plastic are reused and recycled. The village is also open defecation free and each of the household has toilets.
There are no open drains and the used water is dumped underground.
Mawlynnong has been this way for generations with the tradition of cleanliness passed from one generation to another and hopefully will always remain like that.