----------Jamrunmahali is part of the Adarsh Gaon Yojana (AGY), Maharashtra’s Ideal Village Scheme, made famous by its patron activist Anna Hazare, and practicable by its charismatic figurehead, Popatrao Pawar, sarpanch (village council head) of Hiware
Bazar, Ahmednagar. The scheme has been running since the 1990s in Hazare’s hometown, Ralegan Siddhi, and nearby Hiware Bazar, but Jamrunmahali is one of the newer recruits to the project.
--In the absence of groundwater, local women would have to walk 2km to fetch water during winter. Ninety-eight per cent of the population would migrate from the village seasonally. “The village was a sort of punishment posting for government servants,” Pawar
says, describing a community alcohol addiction so bad that teachers would be found getting drunk with their students during lessons. “Families would marry a daughter off with a bottle of booze as dowry.” --
------------To provide the out-of-work villagers with employment, Pawar approached the forest planning department and implemented a tree-planting scheme in the hills around the village. “We ensured that the money came to us to help the local people,” he
says. In the process, the new trees would help prevent further soil erosion and retain water in the rocky soil. In 1992, the state government announced AGY for 350 blocks. Hiware Bazar was quick to apply and became the designated ideal village for its block.
It began to access funds for education, roads and sanitation. --------
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