A village in Ludhiana with a population of just 2,000 people, is getting a makeover, thanks to a community organisation that works on creating model villages for sustainable rural eco-tourism. RoundGlass Foundation, along with volunteers from different countries, have started working in Aloona Tola village. Apart from adorning the village walls with artworks, they have also created a smart classroom for children in a government middle school in the village.
Sarpanch Naurang Singh said that credit for the project goes to Gurpreet Singh, a football coach, who contacted the organisation and pitched case of the village. Soon, volunteers from around the globe landed in the village and started work with their own funds.
Barkat Singh (29) one of the artists from Puducherry, who has launched the unique art project ‘Buy Art not Afeem’ (afeem means opium) against drug addiction in Punjab told The Indian Express, said, “We are promoting an addiction-free Punjab through art and creating sustainable model villages for rural eco-tourism. Now, here we aren’t blaming drugs and liquor as the problem, but addiction. We aren’t saying that people should stop consuming liquor but there shouldn’t be addiction. Art has the power to connect people. Art can make people realise that there is more to life than addiction. There is a way out of addiction and their life can be colourful too. Villages can be a great canvass for spreading such awareness and that’s what are we doing.”
“They have opened a lab in the middle school and enhancing the general knowledge of the children through video-conferencing. Then, all the outer and inner walls including school building, aanganwadi, cremation ground, bus stop and others are being given a makeover with colourful artworks. Youths and children in the village are also helping them in every way they can,” said the sarpanch.
Local MLA Lakhvir Singh Lakha and block development and panchayat officer (BDPO) Navdeep Kaur also visited the village Monday to meet the team. “The football coach wants a piece of land for running an academy. Also, they need some computers for children. We will try providing whatever is needed,” the BDPO said.