Maharashtra is blessed with mountains, which seem to be touching the sky and the state is also fortunate to have people with big dreams. Vaishnavdham is an example of the aspiration of reaching the sky – together. Ten years ago, the village was known for providing Dabbawalas (lunchbox carriers) and porters to Mumbai. Today, the members in many tribal families of Buchkewadi are working as officers and executives. However, the village didn’t achieve its progress by going to cities only, it believed in writing its destiny with its own hands and that too in the farms. The village worked together, understood the importance of soil and water conservation, and took measures for awareness. Through voluntary labor (Shramdaan), SHGs, water committees and developmental initiatives, the village achieved its dream of being self-sustaining.
The work and efforts of women are really commendable, they have started gunny bag making business and have been running it successfully. The women analyzed the demand of locally needed products like gunny bags, which are used to pack vegetables and took initiative to start the enterprise. In the same way, they have started garment enterprise also. Financial independence boosted their confidence and today, Buchkewadi’s women play a decisive role in the village development. I appreciate their contribution and capabilities. The people of the village have understood the importance of health and cleanliness facilities and progress has become the goal of life.
Working in close association with the government and making a mark therein, women have imbibed qualities like teamwork, fearlessness and spirit to carry on social work. Health, education, women empowerment and the requisite government help to the farmers have enabled progress and persistent efforts towards it.
Comprehensive progress achieved by a small village
Construction of roads to farms (Panand roads) through voluntary labor (Shramdaan) is one of the greatest and appreciable initiatives by the farmers of Buchkewadi. The exercise comprised of team efforts by farmers to build roads to farms. Tehsildar office granted them JCB to help in this activity; this help from the Tehsildar office has enabled the farmers to build 19 km of panand roads, which reached right up till their farms. The diesel expenses were borne by the villagers. These roads prove useful as now farmers are able to take their crops in a faster and easier way.
The village’s unity is the backbone of their progress. The disputes in the village are solved in the village itself. Since the village is united as a team in their views, the government facilitated programs have been implemented effectively.
Mr. Prahlad Hiraman – Tehsildar, Junnar Taluka, Dist - Pune.
Heartfelt appreciation of the environment conservation in Buchkewadi
We witness an example of true rural development in Buchkewadi, which is achieved through a right blend of central and state government’s schemes supported with people’s participation and non-government organizations. The village is rewarded with Paryavaran Vikasratna Award, which, it rightfully deserves for its steps towards conserving the environment through various measures like watershed development, soil and water conservation. The village made the optimum use of latest technology to achieve its developmental goals, which has not only accelerated the progress but also saved time and money for the villagers. Through the implementation of schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the village has brought many positive changes in the lives of residents. It brought various employment opportunities along with introducing basic infrastructure and other facilities.
Initiatives like using organic manure, vermicompost units, and bio-gas were encouraged, which also proved useful for horticultural developments. Today, Buchkewadi is the rare model village with 100% tax recovery, toilet in each household, clean drinking water supply, well equipped pre-primary (aanganwadi) and high schools for children. The village also contributes a lot to environment conservation through water budget, advanced techniques for forest conservation.
I appreciate the Gram Panchayat and the residents of the village for their wonderful work and congratulate them for their achievements.
Mr. Sachin Shivaji Ghatage – Block Development Officer, Junnar Taluka, Dist - Pune.
Progressive Farmers of Vaishnavdham – a small village
I appreciate the farmers of Vaishnavdham from the bottom of my heart. When we witness farmers’ suicides on one hand, the farmers of Vaishnavdham are a ray of hope and setting examples for other farmers. The village, which was a drought- prone zone once, has adopted drip irrigation today and several banks have assisted them with encouraging initiatives.
The group farming concept is a commendable initiative. The village has developed with the help of optimum management of water, soil and agriculture. Konkan is famous for mango and now, Junnar is known for its production of tomato and vegetables. Like Konkan is to mangoes, Buchkewadi is to tomato and vegetables. The Gram Panchayat plays a pivotal role in the village progress and constructing roads to farms is one of those key activities, which were completed by the villagers. Now, vehicles can reach each farm, which has augmented agricultural production by saving time and energy. The farmers are also taking interest in crops like Keshar mango and other agricultural experiments. My best wishes to the farmers of Vaishnavdham!
Vaishnavdham – a small village located in the laps of Bhimashankar sanctuary – plays an important role in the forest conservation. The village took several steps for soil and water conservation, which include constructing trenches, social fencing, along with conducting awareness programs like vandindi, kirtan for forest conservation. The village started many initiatives to support forest conversation policy of the state. In 2013-14, Vaishnavdham was awarded with the first prize in Sant Tukaram Vangram Abhiyan of Pune District. The village won the state level first prize in the campaign for the year 2014-15. Vaishnavdham has created a benchmark for thousands of villages.
Mr. ShriKadu – Forest Officer, Junnar Taluka, Dist - Pune.