Ralegan Siddhi is located in the drought affected region of Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district. In the seventees, the village was poverty stricken, water scarce and was plagued with problems like alcoholism. Under the guidance of Anna Hazare, the village has managed a complete turn around. It is now considered one of India’s ideal village and is a role model for other poverty stricken villages. Anna himself undertook various fasts and protests against corruption and managed to galvanise the Indian people to raise their voices. In a recent interview to TIME magazine, Anna had the following to say “I am still bemused as to how this all came about. A pauper living in a temple, who has no money, no power, no wealth; for him the entire country united and spoke in one voice.”
Ralegan Siddhi is immaculate and has some majestic Banyan trees with beautiful prop roots.
Anna’s imprint can be seen all over the village. This sign was displayed outside the Ralegan Siddhi museum, which has a room packed with all the awards that Anna and his village have won over the years.
The colourful primary school in the village where children are encouraged to do shramdaan (voluntary work) and help in the upkeep of the village.
The room in the temple where Anna used to reside, until the media came on the scene.
The canteen in the watershed development centre, which provides training on crop patterns, watershed development and dairy management. Lots of tamarind and mango trees have been planted all over the centre. As part of its re-development, a total of four lakh trees have been planted in Ralegan Siddhi so far.
Glimpses of daily life around the village.
We were lucky enough the meet the man himself. Anna finds time to meet all his visitors.