What makes this tiny Village Dharmaj,unique in more than one ways ?

Generally, when one hears the word ' Village', the picture that flashes in to mind is a hamlet filled with thatched huts, narrow muddy roads and village bellies carrying earthen pots, moving towards the streams to get water so on and so forth.

But it's an altogether  different picture in this amazing village located in Anand district of Gujarat state. It's population is mere  13, 000. Dharmaj has more than a dozen Banks. Some National and international Banks are going to be established in Dharmaj.

One from Every home is an NRI.

Dharmaj village has the rare distinction of having one member from each family of this tiny village resides in one or the other foreign countries. They send dollars every month to one of the Banks of Dharmaj. These families residing in foreign countries, whenever they come on a vacation, they open fixed deposit accounts on the name of their children or their children.

On the whole the Banks in Dharmaj village, the Banks of Dharmaj village have a mind boggling  deposits worth 1000 crores.

A firm belief on the Roots.

The inhabitants of Dharmaj village are firm on keeping the identity of their village. They say their children are taught About the history of Dharmaj , freedom fighters from  Dharmaj , people in high places abroad and their services to the village along with Ramayana and Mahabharata..The villagers spare no effort to inculcate the importance one's roots right from the childhood.

This speaks about the love and affection of the people towards their village.

Dharmaj in thoughts and deeds.

Any inhabitant who left the country in search of livelihood be it India or abroad and come to their dear Dharmaj, always think about what further measures to be taken to make it a Better place to live in. It's the thought that lingers in their mind. Wherever they are they think Dharmaj, breathe Dharmaj and float over the thoughts about Dharmaj.

Dharmaj a Hub of Facilities

Dharmaj has Everything that is needed for comfortable and luxurious life.Drinking water is provided by the process reverse osmosis cleaning of water.Fodder for animals in a jiffy just with a phone call. Beautiful swimming pools and Boating facilities are at your disposal. It's not all Super super specialty hospitals, a Meditation center, Old age home language Lab Computer Lab, Robotics Lab  and educational institutions with world class standards   are present. Additionally there are Engineering education, Physio therapy colleges are located in Dharmaj.

Major Business organizations conduct Campus selections for their organizations here. Dharmaj provides a visual treat with its breathtaking views replete with  large stretches of lush green patches, interspersed with spacious Villas, luxurious cars to the visitors. The visitors feel that they are bodily lifted to a typical European country side.

A crime free  Dharmaj

It is natural, where there is prosperity, there is a scope for crimes. Luxurious activities characterized by lavish and elaborate events take place. Social relations are bruised and battered. Rifts between brothers, husband wife crop up. Court cases pile up. But Dharmaj is free from all. It had the distinction of being hailed as a place free from crime.

Dharma is that rare village, where its inhabitants take pride in holding aloft Human Values, in educating their children in knowledge replete with Cultural and Ethical Values. In this regard they voice their opinion in unison. They do not compromise with these aspects,

Story behind the name, Dharmaj

Nine Hundred years ago, the present place where Dharmaj is located now was a thick forest. A Cowherd named Dharmeswar used to come to this place to feed his cattle. After letting his cattle for grazing, Dharmeswar, used to settle under the cool shade of tree for rest. During this time, Dharmeswar has seen a strange incident. A cow had gone to a place located in high altitude and filled its Udder with milk without any efforts. Dharmeswar could understand that this incident is nothing but the miracle associated with the place. He also believed this is the characteristic of the place. Out of enthusiasm and curiosity, Dharmeswar dug the place. Just after digging two feet, he unearthed a Sivalinga

Dharmeswar, placing stone by stone built a humble shrine. Since then, this temple had become an integral part of Dharmeswar's life. With time, a small village rose up. This village has has become and stood by the name " Dharmaj."

Dharmaj is located 90 Km away from Ahmadabad. Anand known for its " White Revolution", is located 35 Km.

Ever thirsty for innovation

The striking characteristic in the people of Dharmaj is amazing, making this tribe stand out Heads and Shoulders above all. They have firm faith in their abilities. They do not do the things what others do. They do the things in their own way which often proves productive and fruitful. Dharmaj is basically an agricultural village. Its Tobacco crop is well known and great demand. The fact that a Nicotine factory is completely depends on tobacco cropped in Dharmaj, speaks of the high quality of Dharmaj's tobacco,

Without damaging the fertile qualities of the soil. Dharmaj's farmers can get a good yield. The farmers work like scientists. Owing to this reason many Agricultural Universities seek the help from the farmers of Dharmaj.

More interesting facts of Dharmaj

Dharmaj is replete with amazing and interesting facts. You can understand from these facts, the reasons for its uniqueness.

  • Progressive ways of Dharmaj dates back to 800 years. There is a custom in a particular society group, whenever a death occurs, a group feast is arranged. The youth of the place realized as as early as 800 years that this custom reflects ' Caste-ism." A movement has been started that led to abolition of such narrow practices.This initiative was appreciated by Mahatma Gandhi and quoted this shining example in ' Young India' in the issue of 25, October 1928.
  • The Co-Operative movement started as early as 100 years in Dharmaj.
  • In the utilization of Efficient use of barren lands, none excel the farmers of Dharmaj. They converted useless barren lands into lush green pastures. converted Dharmaj into a tourist center. All these factors contributed in a big way in increasing the Rainfall. This made the the then Chief Minister of Gujarat to start " Dharmaj Pattern Pasture Improvement Plan" in Gujarat.
  • Dharmaj residents who settled in London formed, " Dharmaj Society Of London" in the year 1968. During " Quit India Movement', many Dharmaj's people in London sacrificed their lives. One cannot miss the inscription etched on the Dharmaj Memorial edifice, "  Living means living for the Country. Death means laying the lives for the country."
  • The first person who had gone to foreign countries from Dharmaj was JoitaBai 90 years ago. He was neither highly educated nor a highly intelligent man. He was an adventurer who is always keen to see the world beyond the oceans and mountains. He was very clear that there is much bigger world than he ever thought or imagined.

 Where did it lead to

The trend started by JoitaBai in 1906, spread like wild fire. Now Dharmaj  has at least one member from every family.
Nearly1700 families, in Britain, 300 families in the U.S.A, 160 families in New Zealand settled. In Canada nearly 200 families settled. To put it simply, in every developed and prosperous country one can see an inhabitant of Dharmaj.

The people settled in the above said countries are not leading common lives. Most of them are flourishing in lucrative and profitable professions, like Business Tycoons, Hotel owners, Doctors, Professors to name a few.

Dharmaj is proud of them.

Emancipation and Progressive minded

Whenever a person from Dharmaj, living and settled in foreign countries, comes for a holiday to Dharmaj, the entire village welcomes him with open hands. The one who arrived too becomes a childlike . No false airs, no false prestige, no reservedness. There will be galore of celebrations. These are the lessons learned from the Mothers of Dharmaj. These values, these life lessons are injected right from the formative years of every child in Dharmaj.

The Best Gift for children

Every one in Dharmaj are firm believers on the universal axiom, "The Best Gift for their children is Education.." They are of the opinion that they do not believe in pass on their property to their children. They are of the belief that Education alone imparts a Personality and identification to their children. In tune with their belief, one can see the inscriptions written on the walls of every school and educational institute, "Lessons are completed in the class room. But education continues unto the end of life."

The people of Dharmaj say, " Our elders believed Education is the property." Which is why in Dharmaj we could achieve 100 % Education rate. Further they also believe that in their view both school and Temple are one and the same.

When it was decided by the elders of village that a new school building should be built in place of the old and dilapidated school structure, the entire band of Dharmaj residents settled in different foreign countries came forward to lend their helping hand. In their view school means, not just a building that teaches lessons to the pupils, but a sculpting institute where a person's personality is moulded and shaped.

No Gender Bias

One will wonder seeing the emancipated attitude of the people in this small village. In these days of Gender bias prevalent every part of the country, where a Girl child is treated like a slave. And the Boy is treated like a Monarch and the savior of the family, the people of Dharmaj set a glowing example by dismissing Gender bias as rubbish. As early as 100 years ago the village of Dharmaj started a school for girls. If the Girl wishes to go to a foreign country every parent in Dharmaj readily agree gladly.

Book reading habit

We all know the present state of education, wherein, there is no scope for reading other than the prescribed books in the curriculum of the educational system. This leaves a void between the theoretical knowledge and the practical know ledge which is as important as the class room books. this leads to a situation which makes the student academically rich sans practical day to day knowledge zero.

And this subtle aspect has been noticed by the people of Dharmaj. They realized the importance of books. It took no time to shape their thoughts into reality. Because, earlier,  In giving an impetus to The Gujarat Library Movement , in Gujarat, many elders of Dharmaj played a key role.

Dharmaj library  has become a monumental success. Now it contains more than 12,000 precious and authoritative Books. A separate wing for Children literature was established.

In addition to this, every person in Dharmaj encourage the children to go to the library. They ask the children to read at least one book in a week. Every family is given a Library membership card. They say, "Our children show keen interest equally in any subject, be it mathematics or History. They exhibit the same love and interest in English and Gujarati. We don't want to see our children stick to class room Books. For the occasions like Birthdays  we present our children Books.

Simple living

People of Dharmaj say, despite being the richest village and crores of Rupees in our Banks, spacious and luxury villas and expensive cars, they prefer to lead a simple life. They abhor a life of glitterati. To corroborate their view by quoting an incident that happened in their village.

There was a proposal to build a Welcome Gate to Dharmaj which involves a lot of expenditure. The proposal was discussed thoroughly in the village Panchayat. After much deliberation and discussions, it was decided to drop the proposal. Instead the people preferred to have an additional room in the school or add an extra ward to the hospital or roads can be built.

A glaring example that holds mirror to the Simplicity of the people of Dharmaj.

"More we grow, more we are humble " is the characteristic of the Dharmaj society.

There is no Wealth better than Health

Dharmaj gives utmost priority to Health. To achieve success in any field, it is necessary for anybody to have a sound health. Dharmaj, in order to achieve sound health, it is necessary to do physical exercise. The inhabitants of Dharmaj encourage their children. They are of the opinion that by playing games and sports, one van drive away stress boosts Self confidence. A Dharmaj child, wherever he is can be recognized instantaneously. They are erect and sturdy.

Another characteristic of a Dharmaj child is, they easily get acclimatized  by the environment of that place. The drill masters inject the traits of simplicity and humility. In this regard the drill masters preach the students to emulate Hanuman who is an epitome of immense strength and humility.

Equanimity,the essence of converting Defeat into Success

The life lessons revolve around the concept of taking both defeat and failure in life with cool attitude. The students of Dharmaj schools and educational institutes accept the things as they come. No rejoicing on success. No lamenting on failures. This is the attitude that puts the youth of Dharmaj on top of the table. Many laurels were won by the youth and students of Dharmaj in many prestigious competitions. Arjuna awardees are innumerable. And not to forget those Dronacharyas  who moulded the Arjunas of Dharmaj.

A strong foundation of Moral Values

Since generations, Tobacco was the main crop of Dharmaj. The quality of Dharmaj tobacco is very high. This quality of tobacco made the people of Dharmaj a matter of pride. And it's the social custom in Dharmaj to offer a bunch of tobacco to their Guests.

But... in the recent past, the ill effects of Tobacco came into the minds of the people in Dharmaj. They were disturbed by how Tobacco is responsible in causing deaths all over the world. How tobacco is causing life threatening ailments like Cancer. Who knows among those who are killed by tobacco one death may be due to the tobacco cropped in Dharmaj.

"Simply because the tobacco is fetching Dharmaj, is it wise death causing grow tobacco "? was the question that haunted the people of Dharmaj. And it resulted in a decision made by the people of Dharmaj to stop immediately the growing of Tobacco.

The decision to stop growing tobacco is not possible overnight. That's why, it has been decided to reduce the production of tobacco in a phased manner. It's true the income is lessened to the farmer. To compensate the lost income, the farmers started growing vegetables like capsicum. Simultaneously, the farmers gave importance to boost the Dairy products.

Additionally, Dharmaj decided to extract oil which has the medicinal qualities from the seeds of Tobacco.

Development on the Pedestal

Like any other place environmental pollution is there in Dharmaj . Prosperity is on the increase. This lead to buying of Luxury accessories like Motor cars, agricultural necessities like tractors which lead to pollution in the air. With this, people of Dharmaj decided to use environment friendly fuels for their cars and tractors. They believed both their beliefs and development are necessary. If it becomes necessary to choose between our beliefs and Development People voted for development.

Rational thinking

When it comes to facing any situation, where it becomes necessary to weigh certain things involving amenities for people. Here is an example that illustrates the prowess of Rational thinking, that was learned right from their child from the elders of Dharmaj village.

Once, while building Roads, it was found that, an old temple stood in the way, hindering the road building. Being very pious, the people of Dharmaj were thrown in to a dilemma. The situation was put to the village Panchayat. After much deliberations, the Panchayat put the issue for voting. Ultimately, it was agreed by all to shift the temple to a new place. But it did not mean that the people of Dharmaj are atheists.

This landmark decision mirrors the fact, that the people think everything with a rationalistic view and logic. Then the temple was shifted to another place and crores of rupees were spent on the temple to make it an architectural marvel.

Think of what would have happened if the same thing happened in another place. The issue would have taken many political colours.

Let the deserving get the Government Help

"It is the responsibility of the Government to help the poor through subsidies and Freebies. Let the deserving  get the subsidies and Freebies from the Government. We don't need any kind of Government help. For Dharmaj, residents of Dharmaj living in foreign countries  are ready to pour in millions and Millions worth of help. . In such condition , there is no need for Dharmaj to burden the Government. Let the Government utilise that amount for the developmental programs of other needy villages. Dharmaj is well developed and is self sufficient. "

It is the voice of Dharmaj.

Dharmaj Day

Dharmaj Day is an important celebration, observed every year on January 12, the Birthday of great philosopher, seer and Reformer, Swami Vivekananda.

We celebrate Independence Day, Republic Day, Gandhi Jayanti so on and so forth. Seeing this, the people of Dharmaj felt the need of a Day that is unique Dharmaj. The moment this thought has come in to their mind people of Dharmaj put their thoughts in to action.

As a result, Dharmaj Day was born.

 A special Slogan has been coined.

" Be proud to be Dharmijian."

On this Day, the entire village of Dharmaj wears a festive look Citizens of Dharmaj. wherever they are living will reach Dharmaj on this day. And on this occasion, people who made a mark in their respective fields are honored. And their achievements are highly spoken before the mammoth gathering.. All the people in the gathering sing in unison, the Dharmaj Geet  with veneration and religious fervor. The gist of the Dharmaj Geet is, Dharmaj should float in peace and prosperity for ever. Jai Ho Dharmaj Jai  Jai Ho. All over Dharmaj an atmosphere of Brotherhood and camaraderie pervades in the air.

A Village of Values

Dharmaj is not a village. A village with affluence. A village with crores of rupees. But the basic thing under all these aspects is " Values. "This is the norm on which the village rest faith. There is no measure that can measure the these Values. The people of Dharmaj firmly believe that what all they know is, they know only to keep their money in their Lockers, But not wear it as a show of affluence.

Call it by any name. Say it's a " village of Kuberas. Call  it as an abode of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. But we will be happy if you call it as a " Village of Values."

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Comments (2)

  1. Shampa Sadhya

Through this post you have informed your readers that in India there is a village about which everyone should be proud of.

  1. anil

These all thing possible with the co-opration of villagers. But it is not fair to say that it richest village of India. I don't but may some village is more rich than this village.

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