Belona village in Assam’s Barpeta district was declared Assam’s first ‘clean & green’ village as per Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. A village of 350 families, Belona imposes a fine on people using single-use plastic and prohibits the sale of any kind of intoxicants. Women gather daily to make newspaper bags that are distributed to shops and businesses. Villagers volunteer to make their own dustbins out of bamboo and plant saplings around the village.
Jeuti Das, the secretary of Belona’s self-help group told EastMojo,
“We have come up with the idea of banning the paper bags and use plastic bags instead. For the past two years, we have been making these paper bags and selling them in the Pathsala market. The present leader of Drishti NGO, Jitumoni Roy, has taught us to make these bags and the secretary of the NGO, Deepak Roy, has helped our self-help group a lot. They bring us the papers from Barpeta road without taking any fair from us.”
Belona joins Meghalaya’s Mawlynnong and Tripura’s Vanghmun village as the cleanest villages of northeast India. The village was recognised by CM Sarbananda Sonowal and PM Narendra Modi.