Hiware Bazar, Located in one of the drought-prone areas, in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, has been transformed into its History, from poor to the richest village in India. This fairy tale journey started when Popatrao Pawar was elected as the sarpanch of the village in 1990. He somehow managed to ban all addictive substances to minimize expense and encouraged the villagers to invest in rain-water harvesting, milch cattle, etc. In comparison to monthly per capita income of Rs. 830 in 1995, it grew up to Rs. 30,000 till 2012, resulting in 60 millionaires in the village.
“We lived in a poor village, but were happy with our simple lives,” recalls Raosaheb Rauji Pawar, 85.
The villagers continue to strive to see a day when not one person is poor. The villagers also started focusing on cattle farming, which led to an increase in milk production, thus raking in huge revenue. In the 1990s, about 33 gallons of milk were produced per day, while today milk production is around 880 gallons per day, yes the difference is huge. The village learned to tackle any kind of challenge thrown their way, either by Mother Nature or man-made. Slowly and steadily the village witnessed growth and prosperity, resulting in a reverse migration. In 1995, out of 182 families, 168 were marked below the poverty line, whereas today it’s just three. today, the rich and prosperous village is a shining example of how sustainable development and change can be brought about with common sense and determination