From misery and vices to spirituality and progress
Two decades ago, there was nothing but ignorance, poverty and above all bootlegging in the village of Mokhra in Icchoda mandal of Adilabad district. Many used to die young due to alcoholism. There had been no unanimity on any issue and they used to quarrel with each other over petty things. Family disputes were common in those days.
The very first measure taken by the village committee was to impose a ban on making of illicit arrack in the villageBoath: Two decades ago, there was nothing but ignorance, poverty and above all bootlegging in the village of Mokhra in Icchoda mandal of Adilabad district. Many used to die young due to alcoholism. There had been no unanimity on any issue and they used to quarrel with each other over petty things. Family disputes were common in those days.
The metamorphosis of this sleepy village of 160 families and a population of 650 from a state of misery and prevalent vices into a spiritual entity can best be described as a miracle. Fed up with waywardness of the villagers, some youth of the village formed a village development committee with the help of their then elders. The very first measure taken by the committee was to impose a ban on making of illicit arrack in the village. They planned and provided alternative livelihood for the families who depended on bootlegging and arrack making. Within a short span a change was perceptible in their lives.
But the transformation was total with the entry of Sant Vaishnav Narayan Maharaj in Mokhra which resulted in the villagers turned spiritual. A number of spiritual programmes were undertaken since then including celebration of spiritual-week every summer in the village. The whole village stopped drinking alcohol and turned spiritual.
During the day the villagers are engrossed in agriculture work and by evening, they start Hari Bhajan in the village. The whole village also turned vegetarian. During the week-long spiritual meeting this summer, Narayana Maharaj administered oath to the 108 youth of the village and gave them Tulasi garlands to wear round their necks.
Though they are vegetarian in the village, they are studying in cities which make them vulnerable to the changes in lifestyle. In a bid to prevent them from indulging in vices, they are given Tulasi garlands, which is a record of sorts in the country.
No family in the village rears goats or chicken since meat-eating is totally banned in the village. The village development committee after achieving the transformation started concentration on economic development of the village.
The development committee meets on Dasara every year and encourages the farmers to save whatever they could. After two decades, there is about Rs 75 lakh in the account of the development committee which is used to give loans to the needy in the village. The then district collector Jyoti Buddha Prakash was amazed to learn about huge amount with the development committee and complimented them for their achievement.
A number of people from neighbouring Maharashtra visit Mokhra, which could also be described as the cleanest, to personally witness the development the villagers achieved. They have constructed drainage system throughout the village and all the roads are in concrete.
Vexed with the indifference of the government in constructing a bridge on the rivulet adjacent to the village, the inhabitants built the bridge with their own funds five years back. The villagers also abolished caste from their village. There is no upper caste or lower caste.
They celebrate all festivals collectively and everyone attends functions in any house without any prejudice. In case of poor families in the village, the committee conducts mass marriages of their children. The village is at the forefront in implementing both central and state government welfare schemes. Mokhra is second in the state in achieving total digital literacy and also in implementation of cashless transactions. There is 100 per cent utilisation of the mKisan application introduced by the Centre, which is another distinction.
Unity is their catchword for their transformation. They became vegetarian due to unity and they stopped taking liquor due to unity. The village committee president Subhash Gadge says that unity is their strength and spirituality is their forte to achieve development. The youth of the village have been given Tulasi garlands to remind them of the values of their village, he pointed out. Sant Narayan Maharaj complimented the youth of the village for agreeing to wear Tulasi garlands and said that others also should take a cue from the people of Mokhra village for achieving overall development.
By Saikiran Jadhav
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