The small, serene and scenic village of Kokrebellur gets its name from the painted stork known as kokkare in Kannada.
Away from the hustle bustle of Bangalore, these two days felt like a long yoga session. The narrow roads lined with coconut trees on both sides. Water bodies appearing every now and then, the smell of earth, the sound of mooing cows. How I wish I lived in a village. I open my phone to capture this on Instagram. No service, says my phone. Umm… maybe I cannot live in a village. I want the comfort of a city and the calm of a village. Am I asking for too much?
Our first stop was a tree with 20-30 pelicans nesting on it. The turquoise house in front of the tree added to its beauty. There were a bunch of happy kids riding back home on their bicycles. We later found out that the bicycles were given to them by the government to encourage them to go to school. It was clearly working. We then stopped to see a rescued pelican baby and then went to a place to witness s
ericulture. There was a door through which we could peak into a house. We went inside. The lady gladly welcomed us and offered some jaggery. The house was a small, neat and very beautiful traditional house. There was a 47” Sony HD TV in one corner, a huge fridge in the Kitchen and fancy Philips light fittings on the ceiling. The house defied our image of a rural house.
The next day started with a visit to an Aanganwadi. The teacher was so excited to share her story and peanuts with us. I have never had so many peanuts in a day. After listening to her, one part of me believes in the government and the system a little more. But - there’s still a long way to go. Then we went to the Panchayat office. For those who are new to India, they saw nothing unusual. For the rest, this Panchayat office was a very pleasant surprise. A super enthusiastic, highly educated, young female officer, with two equally enthusiastic male subordinates taking her permission before speaking. You don’t see that every day in India. They were all so proud of their work.
This village came together to conserve the birds. This village which is declared open defection free. This village with a young female panchayat officer. Yes, it is not the typical Indian village one would have expected. But if only the other villages and cities could be like this village.