A VILLAGE IN INDIA that was poverty stricken in the mid-1990s has transformed into a flourishing farming community. Many of the people of Hiware Bazar in the state of Maharashtra left for jobs in large cities after a drought hit the area decades ago. Those left behind lost hope until they elected Popatrao Pawar as the leader of the village in 1989. He applied for loans that were used to build systems to manage the water, such as rainwater harvesting and dams. Even though the area only gets about 381mm of rain annually, Hiware Bazar now produces many crops including onions, potatoes and millet — and many of the people who left have returned to their home town.
The motto: all it takes is someone with dedication to a community’s future to make a difference.