Even as the population of the nation is rising, there is a village in Madhya Pradesh where the population has remained the same for the past 97 years. This may seem unbelievable, but that is how it has been in Dhanora, a village located in Madhya Pradesh's Betul district. In 1922, the population here was 1,700 and 97 years later the population continues to be the same. How the village is maintaining its population may sound intriguing. But, there is a story behind this.
A local resident S. K. Mahobiya says that in 1992, Congress held a conference in the village, which was attended by many dignitaries including Kasturba Gandhi. She raised the slogan of 'small family-happy family' here. The villagers were so impressed by her arguments that they decided to adopt and enforce the concept.
The elders of the village say that her message was so well taken by the all in the village that each family adopted the family planning concept. And, one of the good things that happened was that the villagers understood that there was no difference in the boys and girls. The families do not have more than two children and it did not matter whether the children are boys or girls.
One of the local journalists said, "This village is a model in family planning. There is no gender bias in this village and families stick to the norm of having one or two children, even if the children are boys or girls only. The people here don't make a distinction between boys and girls."
Dhanora has maintained its population, but several villages around it have seen almost a fourfold population growth in these 97 years.
Health worker Jagdish Singh Parihar said: "There was no need to force anything on the villagers. They are so very aware of the concept and gains of family planning."
Dhanora is a small village in the landscape of India, but this village is a model of family planning not just for the country but for the whole world as well.