news Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 20, 2015 | 11.20 am IST CCTV cameras are the norm in city life, with the devices visibly fitted around every corner. However, for a tiny village Zamin Devarkulam tucked in southern Tamil Nadu, a village which has come to be known as a model village with an array of technological implementations, it is quite a common sight . An idea suggested by villagers who had left their hometown to work abroad, the village first installed CCTV cameras at street corners three years back. “Our people abroad gave us the idea. They pitched in money and people in the village pitched in as well ,” said Kamala, the village Panchayat head. “We didn't collect any money from the government,” she added. As of today, the village has a total of 7 cameras fitted; a move which she says has curtailed crime in the village. According to Pon Arasu, a police inspector at the nearby Thiruvengadam police station, offences in the village have come down after the cameras were installed. “No major offences have been reported,” he said. CCTV cameras are not the only feather in the cap for this village in South Tamil Nadu. The village also has speakers attached at street corners to communicate essential information to villagers. The village also follows a strict ritual. An alarm sounds sharp at five each morning through the speakers thus waking the village up. “Two people have been specially appointed by the government who pick up garbage every two days and dispose it,” said Kamala. The waste is then segregated into plastics and regular waste before being disposed off. The village has also gone big on the environmental front by taking up recycling seriously. It planted about 500 trees in the village and free saplings have been provided to residential areas. The village which essentially concentrates on agriculture as its core business was once known for its criminal activities, says Kamala. “Even recently, some miscreants stole a three-pound gold chain on a street which did not have a CCTV camera ,” she said. “We announced on the speakers that we had seen the thief and asked them to return it,” she said. The chain was duly returned to the house it was stolen from.                                                                                                                     Kamala, the village Panchayat head The village which does not have much access to ground water gets its supply from a bore well 3 km away. Earlier, someone would need to travel the distance everyday to get the bore functioning. However, after discussions within the village, a new technology was incorporated which allowed the bore to be operated through mobile phone technology. “It made it easier for us to operate as the bore was far away,“ said Kamala.                                                                                                                     The device that allows access to the borewell 3 km away Interestingly, the village has strong, clear-cut views on elections and party politics. No banners are allowed to be put up in the village. The village itself has a spot at the panchayat’ location where political parties arrive for campaigning. They set up banners and once they leave, everything is taken down. No party flags are allowed to be hoisted and also party leader’s posters are not allowed to be stuck around the village. The village is home to about 1600 people mostly Hindus. Apart from this, the village has strongly followed customs. “If someone in a house dies, then we all gather at their house, “ said Kamala. The village which was one amongst 12 villages falling in between two districts, Tuticorin or Tirunelveli was brought under the Tuticorin district in 2008. However, the complete move over to the new district never materialised. “All the government offices have not been shifted. The rural development office and education office are still in the Thirunelveli district,” said Balakrishnan explaining some of the difficulties the village still faced. According to him, the complete shift never materialised which made things quite difficult for the villagers. Whether under Tuticorin or Thirunelveli, the village itself on a whole has made good for itself and handled a number of day-today issues intelligently. Photo credits : Kader Mohideen. Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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