Popatrao Pawar was taken aback when he returned to his village, Hiwaree Bazaar, after completing his masters from Ahmednagar College in 1986. Hiware Bazaar, a small hamlet in Maharashtra has been a victim of draughts for a long time now. At the age of 26 years, Pawar decided for a shift in the condition of his village. Hence starts his journey of a major make-over!
The very infamous draught which occurred in 1972 had kept all the land unfit for cultivation. With hardly a prospect of clean drinking water or proper cultivational techniques, lives were getting hellish in there. Popatrao Pawar won the panchayat election starting to turn the wheels of life in his village. His primary focus was on the school within the hamlet which provided education up to class 4. He took steps to develop the standard of education making it apt for the students who pursued education beyond the primary standard.
Pawar made it clear and prohibited tube wells in order to keep safe the ground water level. Open wells were constructed and undertook establishment of 40,000 contours on the hills to conserve and replenish the ground water. With banning of deforestation and planting over 10 lakh plants, rains returned to the village.
Pawar kept a detailed look into the eradication of social-evils, health and unity of the villagers. The panchayat established health centres, aganwadis and animal centres within the village boundaries. The couples are taught about family planning and are urged to perform the HIV tests before they tie the knot. The village very surprisingly had a proper male to female ratio without any discrimination or gender inequality. He has also ensured that there is unity in diversity among the residents of the village and with the assistance of the villagers has built a mosque. This has largely made the Muslim population in the village satisfied.
Pawar the present executive president of Adarsh Gaon Yojna decides to move with his project in order to create 100 more model villages. He believes that the constant migration of villagers into the city will ultimately collapse the city-sphere. Hiware bazaar village now stands as a model to the villages struggling for existence! This make-over could only be achieved by the sole endeavour of Popatrao Pawar!