Haryana’s crime hubs set to become ‘rainbow villages’, first up is Kherla
Kherla village was selected as it connected with the highway, and is a 90 minute drive from Delhi, and an hour from Gurgaon. Work is set to get completed by January 26, when the village may be opened for tourists.
Known as a hub of criminals, the Kherla village in Mewat district is ready to transform itself as a colourful tourist attraction which will create employment opportunities for villagers.
Inspired by the rainbow villages of Indonesia and Santorini of Greece, volunteers from MNCs across Gurgaon started the ‘Donate an Hour’ campaign under which they spend time after work and over the weekends covering walls with drawings.
“Our purpose is to make this society a self-sustainable one and we wanted to set an example so that other villages can also follow the same concept,” said Richa Agarwal, a volunteer of Donate an Hour-DoaR India.
Kherla is first among the many villages across Mewat that will be transformed into tourist attractions. The village was selected as it connected with the highway, and is a 90 minute drive from Delhi, and an hour from Gurgaon. Work started on December 20 and is set to get completed by January 26, when it will be inaugurated. Of the 500 houses in the village, 20 have been painted.
Speaking about the effect this initiative has had on the people, Nisha, one of the villagers, said, “People have started calling lanes such as ‘taaron wali gali’ (the lane of stars). The place people thought is known for crime will be known for its culture.”
The transformation here goes beyond the cosmetic. “The villagers have been made aware of the cleanliness required to attract tourists and they have started keeping their lanes clean,” Amit Singh, a volunteer, said.
If all goes to plan, tourists will be able to enjoy activities such as hen-catching, goat tours, making toys with cow dung, selfie rides with decorated bicycles and traditional clothes, and trekking.
“Villagers will get a chance to earn a living by offering rich delicacies such as bajra roti, white butter, chutney and lassi,” volunteers said, adding that they will also be trained in adventure activities and as guides.
Mewat deputy commissioner Ashok Kumar said, “It is a great joint effort of the district administration, the panchayat, villagers, and the NGO. We are planning to change the look of the Gurgaon-Alwar highway where all houses along the main road will be painted similarly.”
Attractions on offer