A small village in eastern India has been setting an example not only throughout the country, but across Asia — and hopefully the world — for clean practices that were passed on across generations.
Welcome to Mawlynnong, a settlement of around 600 people that has been dubbed as “God’s own garden” and “Asia’s cleanest village” since 2003.
By 2005, it was officially recognized by the Indian government as the “cleanest village” in the country.
Mawlynnong continues to enjoy such acclaims to this date thanks to the residents’ involvement in maintaining the community’s cleanliness.
According to Oddity Central, children are responsible for sweeping dirt and fallen leaves off the streets every morning before going to school. Leaves that have been collected are then buried in a compost pit.
Children also empty bamboo trash baskets, segregating waste accordingly.
The village bans smoking and plastic, though some of the latter still end up somewhere around the community, reportedly from tourists.
Nonetheless, locals do not spare such plastic litter as most of them are recycled for useful purposes.
Almost all of the village runs on clean energy too, most of which is solar, proving their commitment to a healthy environment.
Mawlynnong’s obsession with cleanliness, however, did not happen overnight. It is believed that a cholera outbreak 130 years ago encouraged cleanliness among residents as a means to curb its spread, BBC noted.
The villagers are also of the traditionally matrilineal Khasi people — the attention to cleanliness must have then sprung from society’s emphasis on such, from a time when women, culturally-assigned home and environmental orderliness, were dominant.
Those planning to visit can expect to be welcomed by warm villagers, most of whom are comfortable with the English language. The village has a 100% literacy rate, according to the Indian government.
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.