In 2012, Mr. Ashish and his wife Ruta adopted a backward village named Lonwadi in Maharashtra, on a part-time basis. The village was severely lacking in infrastructure – had no electricity, water system, toilet facilities or even proper roads. Later in 2014, the couple relinquished their job in the UK to devote their time to building better facilities for the villagers by collaborating with an NGO named ‘Adarsh Village’.
With the motto of ‘One House, One Toilet’, the couple went on to build two public bio-toilets in the village. To get the villagers accustomed to the toilets, the couple even came up with a unique idea – the toilets in this area are covered with bushes so it gives the same feel as being out in the open fields.
The couple also educated the village females (girls and women) about the hazardous effects of open defecation. Another crucial step in transforming the village was the installation of a solar-operated water pump. This helped the villagers, who until then had to go downhill every day in order to get water.
Impressed by the efforts of the electric engineer couple, the villagers also provided their full support morally as well as financially. With good roads, electricity, a water system, and a digital school, the ‘Swachh NRI Warriors’ gave a better life to the people of Lonwadi.