Mawlynnong, Meghalaya – Why is it Asia’s cleanest village?


Mawlynnong is the cleanest village not just in India but in Asia as well. Flowerbed roads know no plastic. Bamboo dustbins keep the hamlet clean. Littering attracts stern looks from volunteers working hard to keep the mess off of the paths. All this and more makes Mawlynnong a shining example of everything pure.

Home to the Khasi tribe, Mawlynnong is a matrilineal society – where property and wealth are passed from mothers to their youngest daughters, and children take their mothers’ last names.

Nestled in Meghalaya’s mountainous bosom, Mawlynnong is far removed from noise and dirt. It’s so clean that it might as well sparkle in the falling rays of the morning sun.

No society is perfect and neither was Mawlynnong. 130 years ago when cholera plagued the village, there was no other option available other than to adopt hygiene as the perfect way of living. And so it did.
Open defacation was abolished – and with the adoption of sanitation came toilets, and nearly 95 households had them built.

Until 2003, this home of 500 Khasi people kept itself removed from the rest of the world as motorable accessibility was almost like a foreign concept. But then came 2012 and the first road was carved. And along with it came a deluge of visitors that swelled the population by almost half of a cent percent.

And soon followed other vices – noise pollution, nosy visitors photographing washerwomen, and the gradual breaking of the social thread that binds Mawlynnong together.

In his radio message, Prime Miinister Narendra Modi had besought the nation to follow suit and do their bit to keep the country clean and pretty under his Clean India campaign.

“I was amazed to know that there is such a village in remote north-east, Meghalaya which is so passionately carrying the mission of cleanliness for years,” he had said.

While we all need to do our bit to keep our home (and by home I mean India) clean and pollution-free, we must also remember to respect Mawlynnong’s effort that can so beautifully lead by example. (Agencies)


Interesting facts:

– To keep the village clean there is bamboo baskets outside every house. The waste is then thrown into a pit, and finally ends up being used as manure.
– Plastic bags and smoking- strictly banned in the village, if caught using those you have to pay fine.
– People who litter around are fined. If you get found for cutting trees you will be fined.
– You will be surprised by knowing that the Literacy rate of this village is 100%.

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