sulabh swatchh bharat

Thursday, 24-August-2017

HASURI HAMLET’S HIGH JUMP

A businessman into solar power, the young man dreamt of giving back something to his village, and has digitised it with his own money within a few months

The pradhan of a village in Uttar Pradesh has done something so spectacular that he could be the envy of even well-meaning officials.

Hasuri Ausanpur village in Bhanwapur bloc of Dumariyaganj Tehsil in Sidharthnagar district in Uttar Pradesh has become the first ‘Digital Model Village’ in Uttar Pradesh with 23 Wi-Fi hotspots, 23 CCTVs, remote and mobile-controlled public address system, Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, cemented roads, new primary school, banking facility, common service centre and has been declared open defecation free (OFD).

And all this has been done without asking for a penny from the government.

At 6.30 every morning, people of Hasuri Ausanpur wake up to speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan and open defecation on the public address system, which covers every household in the village. Information about various schemes of central and state governments is announced in the village during the day.

The non-descript, tiny hamlet with a population of 1,024 shot into limelight last month when it bagged four awards from the Madhya Pradesh for being the second Digital Model Village in the country after Gujarat’s Pansuri village in Sabarkantha district.

The village, which came into existence only one and half years ago when it was made a separate Gram Panchayat, got a facelift when a youth took up the task of making it Uttar Pradesh’s first Smart and Digital Village with his own money.

Though Dileep Kumar Tripathi, a native of Hasuri Ausanpur, had shifted to Sidharthnagar in 2003 to join the family business but he always thought of doing something for the place of his birth to showcase it on the country’s map.

“Hasuri is my birthplace where I spent my early days of life. It was my dream to turn my village into a place which people remember all over the country,” said tech-geek Dileep.

A post-graduate in Social Science, Dileep is into solar panel business. When he first envisaged a digital plan for the village in mid 2016, he faced resistance from the village elders. “When I talked about creating Wi-Fi spots and installing CCTVs in the village, elders resisted the move saying that it will spoil their children and intrude into privacy,” recalled Dileep.

Village elders were of the opinion that development in the village would come from uninterrupted power supply, construction of roads and toilets and opening of schools and banks, etc., not by digital means, which would expose boys and girls to various ills related to mobile and internet content.

But women, girls and boys of the village always supported him. “We asked him to ignore the generation gap and go ahead with his digitisation plan, as it will help us connect with the rest of the world and open avenues for village youth,” said Pawan of the village.

To overcome the resistance and win over hearts of village elders, Dileep first got a 300 metre cemented roads sanctioned for the village with the help of his connections in the government. “This gave a little confidence to villagers who asked me to contest polls for the Pradhan,” claimed he. Dileep fought the polls and was elected Hasuri Ausanpur village Pradhan in late 2016, after the village was separated and declared a separate Gram Panchayat. Since it Hasuri was a tiny hamlet and less populated, the budget was restricted to only Rs 6 lakhs.

Dileep had conceptualised the idea after seeing a ten-minute film on Gujarat’s Pansuri village. Incidentally, he met the Pansuri village Pradhan at a programme in New Delhi. He offered him to visit Gujarat. On his return to Hasuri, Dileep with a team of his IT friends made a trip to Pansuri village and spent three-four days talking to Pradhan and villagers to understand their model.

After visiting three or four more developed villages in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, he hired an Ahmedabad-based startup Rurban Technology Solutions to execute his digital smart village plans.

Pansuri Village was transformed into India’s first digital and smart village by Rurban Tech. The company is also the implementing agency for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana which was launched in 2014.

The company did a survey of Hasuri in March 2017 and completed the entire digitisation plan in less than two months.

Today, Hasuri boasts of having socio-economic details of each member of the family in the village. Apart from basic details, it provides micro information about every villager such as their land-holdings, their habits, sanitation, insurance cover, bank accounts, ATM cards, mobile phones, internet use etc.

“The entire digitisation project cost me a little over Rs 16 lakhs. Within two months, Hasuri Ausanpur suddenly shot into limelight. My critics were now patting me on my back. The same village elders now can be seen using whatsapp and Facebook with free Wi-Fi hotspots to stay connected with their sons working in other states,” he claimed.

Even if the Village Pradhan is out of Hasuri Ausanpur, he is connected through the mobile to public address system. “If I am in Lucknow and have to pass on some important information to my people in t  he village I use my mobile which is connected to the public address system,” claimed Dileep.

The digitiasation transformed lives of women and youth. “Our village is no less than a city which has all modern day facilities,” said Brijesh.

After the dilapidated primary school building was renovated and mid-day meal was restarted, the dropout rate has come to zero.

Impressed by Village Pradhan Dileep’s efforts, the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had called him for a presentation on June 2, 2017. “After seeing the 35-minute presentation on transformation of Hasuri Ausanpur, the Chief Minister has promised to take forward his model to develop other villages in the state and also assured to make a visit to my village,” claimed Dileep.

Dileep has a long to-do list for further development of his village. Installation of solar panels to generate power, common service centre and a bank has started operating recently. “My next plan is to engage village women who sit idle. A Skill Development Centre is being opened and about 57 village women have already enrolled themselves to learn stitching, embroidery, baking classes, pickle and pappad making,” said he.

“I am looking forward to open a bakery shop in the village after taking classes,” said Reena (26).

The Director Panchayati Raj, Uttar Pradesh, has also appreciated Dileep’s solo efforts and initiatives in putting his little, unknown village into the country’s digital map.

But Dileep is unhappy with the state bureaucracy.”Even after acknowledging my initiatives, nothing concrete has so far been done by District Magistrate. Many of my future plans are gathering dust in government’s files,” he rued.