It is this year that we have learned the word ‘Atma-Nirbharta’ or ‘self-reliance’. However, the concept is not new to a tribal village in Madhya Pradesh which has been living on this concept for years now. Patalkot, a village located in the low mountain ranges of Satpura in the Chhindwara district has been called ‘Atma Nirbhar’ in the true sense.
The village is inhabited by the tribal clan Bharia, who have their own way of living for so many years. In fact, it has remained a secret to the world for years until it was recently found out. Located in a secluded forest, Patalkot didn’t even exist on India’s map until recently.
The village, home to the Bharia community among two others, is located 17 feet below the surface. With just 12 villages in presence, the community comes with a unique culture. Apparently, the people of this village are so self-reliant that they grow and produce everything on their own.
From food to living resources, the answers to all their needs are found in the forest they live in. The only thing they need to step out for is salt. Being extremely affectionate towards nature, the residents of this village do not cut trees. In fact, they use herbs to make various kinds of traditional medicines. Their houses are made of trees that have fallen off, while peace and harmony are their life mottos to swear by.
This Independence Day, let us learn a thing or two about self-reliance from this small yet magnificent community.