Ever since I was a kid, Mahatma Gandhi had always inspired me. It was hence quite a revelation when I visited this beautiful village called Gandhi Nu Gam. I wondered why it was called so. On asking the local guide, I was told that the 2001 earthquake had left this village devastated. The redevelopment of this entire village was carried out, re-creating everything bit by bit. While building the village again, the team took utmost care in keeping the village’s socio-cultural traditions intact.
The project constructed 455 traditional bhungas together with three schools, a grass bank, community buildings, production centres, religious shrines, the electricity network and a water harvesting system. Sixty of these dwellings were on a new site situated centrally among the existing settlements in the area; the remaining dwellings were in the existing hamlets spread over a 10 km2 area. Each dwelling was provided with its own individual dual pit toilet system and a bathing cubical.
Gandhi Nu Gam is a living example of sheer grit and determination that can preserve the past, as well as shape the future.