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Located at a distance of 90 km from the state capital of Shillong; in the state of Meghalaya is the village of Mawlynnong. This village has been dubbed as God’s own garden because of its stunning natural beauty and cleanliness. Known as the cleanest village in the whole of Asia, a title bequeathed by the Discover India Magazine in 2005 and reinforced by the BBC, UNESCO and National Geographic, the people of this locality have taken it upon themselves to make the difference.
The village of Mawlynnong is situated at an altitude of around 4906 feet above sea level. The road leading to Mawlynnong has endless greenery along the road with paddy fields and waterfalls. The road is also very bumpy; and is not the easiest of road trips for a rookie traveler.
Mawlynnong is a very beautiful village and looks extremely pretty during the monsoon, when there is lush greenery all around with numerous waterfalls paving the way to small streams and abidance of flowers that add to the beauty of this small village.
The village is so clean that it makes tourists a bit self conscious if their shoes are dirty. There are bamboo waste disposal baskets everywhere and in front of every house. And it is a common sight to see villagers sweeping their compound. The villagers take it upon themselves to keep not only their surrounding clean but the entire village as well. It is not unusual for people of all age group to sweep the tiny concrete road that connects the village.
They take their responsibility seriously.
Mawlynnong proudly refers itself as ‘God’s own garden’ and it indeed is with lush greenery all around, with abundance of flowering orchids dangling in almost all the houses.
Open defecation is thing of past as every house has a toilet. The villagers say that open defecation was stopped almost a decade ago under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan
Though the villagers rely heavily on tourism, agriculture is the mainstay. The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture with betel nut being the chief earner along with horticulture produces.
There are three schools as well as a functional Anganwadi centre and a church. Not surprisingly, it is a 100 percent literate village. Tourism has also brought in roads, drains, better education and management, says a villager.
Spot on about village management. There is a parking lot and it is likely that someone will come to guide you to the designated area politely if you make the mistake of parking haphazardly. Every vehicle has to pay fifty rupees to the Dorbar Shnong, a local governance body for the maintenance of the village.
The village was dotted with small houses each sporting a colourful neat garden. . Interestingly, there were no fences between the houses and huts. The village was spotless with no debris on the ground and no littering of any sort. The paths were also dotted with dustbins made of bamboo. Plastic bags are completely banned and waste disposal is environmentally friendly. Rubbish is thrown into a pit dug in a forest near the village where it is left to turn into compost.
The village also offers breathtaking view of Bangladesh plains as it is located on the Indo-Bangla border. Mawlynnong village has set an example for others that need to be replicated in other villages.

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bijit dutta

Travel Organic

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