Pawar started a rainwater harvesting and management programme in Hiware Bazar. (Photo Credit: Twitter/@mygovindia)
The government of India recently announced Padma Awards - one of the highest civilian Awards in the country. The awardees included Popatrao Baguji Pawar, sarpanch of Hiware Bazar village in Maharashtra. Pawar’s contribution in transforming his impoverished village has been recognised with the Padma Shri - India's fourth highest civilian honour. In 1989, when Pawar took over as the sarpanch, his village was reeling under severe droughts, lack of resources and an alcohol problem.
In order to cope up with the scarcity of water in his village, Pawar started a rainwater harvesting and management programme in Hiware Bazar.
Pawar’s efforts led a to a total transformation as plantation of thousands of trees under his programme changed Hiware Bazar into the "green model village".
Popatrao Pawar is also credited for banning alcohol in the village, and has made HIV test mandatory before marriage, and turned it into a nearly mosquito-free area, reports Noticeboard.
Pawar, one of the 118 recipients of prestigious Padma Shri Award, is currently the executive director of Maharashtra state government's model village programme, reports NDTV.
Padma Awards - one of the highest civilian Awards--are conferred in three categories--Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. This year, Sixteen people have been given the Padma Bhushan and 118 awarded in the Padma Shri category.
Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order and Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.