Damoh (Madhya Pradesh): The Gadhola Khade village in this district in the Bundelkhand region of the state has 100 per cent literacy. It has also bagged cleanest village in the district award. The village boasts of a fitness training school, a computer centre and a pre-primary school for children that has been built with people’s cooperation.
All this has been possible due to the unflinching efforts of 81-year-old Mulayam Singh Thakur.
Twenty-three years back, Mulayam Singh retired as principal of Ujjain’s Government Polytechnic College and settled in the village. He has three sons. One is a major general, other is an engineer and his third son is a lecturer.
Post retirement in 1995, Mulayam Singh Thakur organised youngsters and formed a committee. He motivated them to offer ‘shramdan’ (voluntary labour). With their collective efforts they built a temple, a ‘dharmashala’, a permanent dais for public functions, a training centre and a pre-primary school in the village. Thakur’s wife Krishna Singh cooperates with her husband. She also heads a committee formed for promoting cleanliness and health of village.
Bears cost of living, education of school kids
Twenty students, both girls and boys, have pursued higher studies in colleges in nearby cities. Three of them have studied computer science and engineering. This year 12 students did well in High School examination and another 10 excelled in Higher Secondary. Those who have passed High School and Higher Secondary exams are given training for recruitment in Army every morning and evening. So far four village youths have joined police, forest department and Army. Thakur also bears the cost of living and education of deserving and needy schoolchildren.
Cleanest in district award
Village Gadhola Khade has been declared the cleanest village of the district. On 26 January, 80 youths and villagers were felicitated at the Republic day function in Damoh. The village also won a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh. Sarpanch Shiv Singh Lodhi said the funds for development works are spent only on buying raw material. The construction work is done through voluntary labour.
(Story: Sanjay Maurya)