The residents of this village may be more affluent than half the population of major towns and cities in the country. Arguably, the richest village in the world is located in India. With more than 17 banks situated in the village and around 7,600 housing establishments, the people of the village have a cumulative deposit of a whopping Rs 5,000 crores in these banks.
The village we are talking about is Madhapar. Located in the Kutch district in Gujarat, Madhapar is one of the 18 villages established by the Mistris of Kutch. According to estimates, the average per capita deposit in the village is around 15 lakhs. Apart from 17 banks, the village has schools, colleges, lakes, greenery, dams, health centres, and temples. The village also has a state-of-the-art gaushala.
But why is this village so different from the conventional villages in India? The reason is that most of the family members and kins of the villagers reside in foreign countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Africa, and the Gulf countries. Mostly Patels, more than 65% of the people are NRIs who send huge amounts of money to their families from outside the country. Many of these NRIs, after earning a fortune, came back to India and started their ventures in the village.
As per reports, an organization called the Madhapar Village Association was set up in London in 1968. It was aimed at facilitating meetings between the people of Madhapar living abroad. A similar office was opened in the village as well, to establish smooth connectivity between people.
Even though many villagers settled abroad, they did not let go of their roots that are deeply ingrained in the village soil. They prefer saving their money in the village’s banks rather than the country they live in. Agriculture is still the main occupation here, and the produce is exported to Mumbai.