Situated on the banks of the Mahanadi River (adjoining the Satkosia gorge), Muduligadia is a beautiful hamlet in Odisha, renowned for being the state’s first eco village to attain self-sustainability with zero-waste and 100% eco-friendly initiatives of livelihood. Anshu Pragyan Das, the formal Divisional Forest Officer of Mahanadi Wildlife division was instrumental in making this happen.
The village is only two kilometres (km) from the site of Badmul Ecotourism Project titled ‘Satkosia Sands Resort & Nature Camp’ established in 2016. It consists of seven cottages overlooking the Satkosia gorge and 12 tents pitched on the Mahanadi River bank. The ecotourism project managed by 30 community members, has generated employment for people living around the protected area besides being a source for education and conservation awareness among the communities dependent on forest for their livelihood. All houses in the village have been repaired with colourful verandahs and traditional wall paintings done by villagers to make them attractive. Villagers have formed Eco-Development Committee (EDC) and developed a mechanism to make the project self-sustained. The lifestyle of the villagers have improved, and become more sustainable. All 35 households in the village have been using LPG gas instead of firewood for the past three years. Through active awareness and education, the community was persuaded to set up toilets in their houses and turned their village into an Open Defecation Free in 2019. The place has become a tourism hub. The entire revenue generated from eco-tourism projects across the state goes back to the community as their wages and the rest gets ploughed back for management of nature camps. The project contributes both to the welfare of the inhabitants of the region as well as of the state as a whole. It is ultimately the future of sustainable tourism in India.
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