Harisal Village in Maharashtra Transforms from Malnutrition Capital to the First Digital Village in India


The city of Melghat in the richest state of India (that is Maharashtra) is known as the malnutrition capital. However, now the city has shook off its dubious tag and made its way to get shortlisted for one of the most coveted national awards in the sector of public services.

The city also houses the Harisal village that has been adopted by the juggernaut, Microsoft. Microsoft had taken up the responsibility to develop the first digital village in our country. With the help of commendable efforts carried out by the state government, the village is in line to receive the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in the sector of Public Administration. The village may also provide a delivery model of replicable public service, which can be implemented for the entire state.

The spokesperson of the Maharashtra government said that the first development began with the realization that the piecemeal approach of increasing the access to the fair price of the shops was not solving the problem of malnutrition. The second development began when the officials of the government looked into and studied the comprehensive view of the village population so that a solution could be obtained for this endemic health problem.

Harisal has a score that was significantly low in almost all of the parameters mentioned under the Human Development Index like the income levels, employment as well as education. This led the government to focus on the initiative of building around the data granularity.

Microsoft has used the white space technology, which is an unused spectrum that lies between the 2 television channels and has successfully provided free internet connectivity to Harisal as well as other neighboring villages. In addition to this, Microsoft has also appointed officials in the state of Maharashtra who are going to focus on determining new technologies for the state so that the condition of the remote areas in the villages can be uplifted.

The Additional Chief Secretary of Fadnavis, Praveen Pardeshi said that the state of Maharashtra collaborated with Microsoft for building connection digitally amongst the villages with the primary goal to make all the residents of the villages self-reliant, enhance their existing income, increase the rate of employment and also to provide the best facilities for medical services.

The village Harisal was selected for this digitalization as it had the worst score on the parameters of Human Development Index. If they succeed in bringing about improvement in this village, then this technology could be implemented with ease and success in any village across India.

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