Bhubaneswar : Muduligadia village in the district of Nayagarh is the first eco village in Odisha. Situated on the banks of Mahanadi river, the village is a home to 35 families. What makes this village extraordinary is that it is solely managed and kept by the community members with zero waste and 100% eco-friendly initiatives of livelihood.
Anshu Pragyan Das, the formal Divisional Forest Officer of Mahanadi Wildlife division played a monumental role in the transition.
Through active awareness and education, the village community set up toilets in their house and turned their village Open Defecation free in 2019. With aids from the forest department, the village community has joined hands to provide their future generations with a better lifestyle. The villagers have a strict No-Litter policy and have pledged to make their village 100% plastic free. They also have turned to organic farming using cow dung manure.
The villagers have decorated their trees and walls with beautiful paintings to mesmerize the tourists.
The project has charted a revenue of more than Rs 1 crore in each of 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years. Of the total revenue generated from the online booking of tents, 35 percent goes to the eco-tourism group managing the destinations as their wages, 25 % for recurring expenses towards the day to day food and maintenance, 10% for infrastructure development, 10 %for the EDC and another 20 percent towards Government revenue and corpus fund.
Apart from the economic aspect, this project also has helped the socio-cultural aspect of the village encouraging the woman to actively participate in decision making processes.
The village has been a source of employment for people living near the conserved area. While making their abode eco-friendly, the villagers have also beautifully showcased their traditional art and culture to the world, by decorating their thatched mud huts.