Jaratoli in Jharkhand and Mawlynnong in Meghalaya are as different as cheese and chalk, but for the natural bounties they share due geography. Both are hilly places with beautiful landscapesteep valleys and jungles-besides being tribal villages. They share a benign climate too.
But while Mawlynnong, a village in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, is famous for its cleanliness and natural attraction and was awarded the prestigious tag of ‘Cleanest Village of Asia” in 2003 by Discover India Magazine— Jaratoli remained a nondescript, unclean and underdeveloped village in Ranchi district of Jharkhand till last year.
Not any more though as winds of change have started sweeping Jaratoli over the last one year ever since Rajya Sabha MP and Reliance Group president (corporate affairs) Parimal Nathwani took up the cudgels to groom it into a model village of the tribal dominated state.
Comprising around 124 homes, this village around 15 km from the capital city in Namkum block, aspires to attract visitors and tourists, a la’ Mawlynnong. Given the pace with which things are changing for betterment and beautification in Jaratoli, the locals’ aspiration to charge a fee for entry per person, doesn’t seem a far-fetched dream anymore.
They say well connected roads are the backbone of a tourist place and the drive to Jaratoli is a smooth one today. The village is connected to the highway with a smooth metal road with covered drains on either side for hygiene, which is a rarity.
As you drive, you see recently planted saplings, getting taller by the day. They are expected to be full blown trees within next couple of years and provider of shade along the way.
As the dive into the valley begins, one come across a recently constructed building to house a weekly rural markethaat in local parlance.
Few metres ahead is the village now standing in a riot of colour- each repainted and renovated under the Centre’s Indira Awas Yojna.
A public-toilet-cum-bath has turned into a landmark adjacent an upcoming nutrition garden, where villagers have planted neatly laid out rows of fruit trees and patches of vegetables. Interestingly, they are fed from waste water, now recycled to good use.Another four months and every house will have a toilet.
Presently, at least 60% of the houses have already got separate toilet blocks. There are three deep borings connected with pumps and overhead water tanks for round the clock water supply. Another three are to come up in a couple of months. The plan is to reach piped water to every home by year end, while paver blocks are being laid on every pathway to ensure zero dust.
There is a double story community hall with chairs and a big flat screen television that is used by the village development committee for regular meetings. The women use it for training in poultry techniques, fishery, mushroom farming and regular self-help group meetings. The same women work together each morning to collect cow dung and dump it in a compost pit for manure.
MP Nathwani glows when he talks of his adopted village. He is now in talks with Union minister Piyush Goel, who has assured to provide LPG gas connection to every household under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna.
Nathwani’s funds have also gone into the local government school, which is being renovated while a beautiful children park with swings, slides and boundary walls, painted with pictures of animals and quotes has come up to be a huge draw for kids. Places of worship too have been cemented with proper fence and boundary.
“Very soon, the village will get a Nand Ghar, an ideal anganbari center for childcare,” Nathwani said, adding, by next year, “Every house in the village will wear a common paint.”
“We pick up brooms and clean our village every week,” said Vijay Toppo, local villager. Niranjan adding, “The MP is known as the ‘Magic Man’ for turning our dreams into reality.”