A fantabulous model of growth, development, prosperity, community based eco-tourism and
sustainability lies in Mawlynnong a remote village in the hill state of Meghalaya where life is
self- sustaining and people are aware and partake responsibly in making their village the
cleanest village in Asia. Sustainability is in the very roots of the village as Bamboo dustbins
adorns every nook and cranny, vegetable garden in every home, smoking and plastic is ban,
and cleanliness is innate in everyone, rules are same for all and defaulters are penalized,
societal responsibility is shared by everyone from children to adults as task like cleaning
streets, schools and planting trees are mutually undertaken. It is perfectly the model village
for the entire country to emulate.
Government taking responsibility and initiative by running huge campaign on “Swatch
Bharat Abhiyan” to make people aware on hygiene and use of toilet while in this small
village in the big country has toilet facility in each household; moreover all residents of the
village are literate. Use of plastic is ban and all decomposable waste is thrown into pits dug
near the village where it is allowed to turn into compost. Arecanut which is highly susceptible
to dirt and disease is the main produce of the village. Main inhabitants are Khasi tribes and
matriarchal societal setup is followed.
In 2003, the travel magazine ‘Discover India’ declared Mawlynnong as the cleanest village in
Asia and the cleanest in India in 2005 which resulted in a great boost to tourism in the place.
People busy in hustle-bustle, noisy, crowded, polluted life – style of metros must planned a
visit to the village and you will be surprised on seeing life can be so simple, calm, clean and
beautiful. In addition to calming and relaxing one’s soul, Mawlynnong also referred to as
‘Gods own garden’ is blessed with picturesque beauty, blooming flowers with greenery all
around, waterfalls landing into small streams. The living root bridge from Ficus elastic trees
where roots keep on growing with capacity to hold several people, the natural balancing rock
with huge boulder resting on small stone from ages and has many stories associated with it,
the sky walk is an 85 feet high bamboo structure little difficult to navigate but offers
astounding views of the place and of Indo-Bangladesh plains, the Church of Epiphany
occupies an important place in the heart of natives as they consider missionaries taught them
cleanliness is the way to reach God, Mawlynnong waterfalls palisade with greenery is a sight
to behold and is a perfect feast of nature lovers.

The village offers a sustainable model of community based eco-tourism for others and there
is a need of replicating the model in other villages.

Swati Shah