A Village in India Where Clean Living Became a Tourist Attraction

  • 2018-08-13
  • The New York Times

Mawlynnong, a village in northeastern India, attracts throngs of visitors eager for a slice of village life, lush gardens and a tradition of cleanliness.

Hidden in the lush greenery of the East Khasi hills of Meghalaya State along the Indian border with Bangladesh lies the pristine village of Mawlynnong. The rolling green hills and topaz watering holes serve as a backdrop for 500 residents, a number that swells during high season with a couple of hundred tourists daily

It is held forth as an example of what concerted efforts to clean up can yield, and used to bolster the “Clean India Mission” campaign to sanitize the nation by 2019, which is the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi (who advocated community cleanliness and sanitation in India). One of the goals of the Clean India Mission program is to increase the use of toilets in rural India. In Mawlynnong, every household has a toilet.

Today, Mawlynnong grapples with the blessing and the curse of tourism while trying to maintain the essence of the village, protecting the core reason people want to visit.