Asian News Makers
Education India Insight

‘Most Literate Village of Asia’ to being a ‘town’, Dhuarra Mafi exemplifies a ‘model village’ for India

Kavita Sharma

This was indeed a moment of pride for India when, one of its northern villages Dhaurra Mafi, in 2002, was declared the ‘Most Literate Village’ and entered the ‘Limca Book of Records’. The recognition was more significant as Dhaurra Mafi is situated in one of the largest north Indian state, Uttar Pradesh, which ranks eighth lowest in country’s literacy count.

It had been a collective effort of villagers and the Gram Panchayawhich worked hard to achieve the literacy rate of around 80 percent, when in 2002 rural literacy rate of the country was just 73.5 %. It was not only the education which the village worked on but also on other development indexes like health, sanitation, electricity and infrastructure etc and proposed its name to be recorded in the “Guinness World Records” and wanted a tag of ‘smart village’ to Daurra Mafi.

While Daurra Mafi continue to push for achieving 100 percent literacy, the only difference is, it is no more a village now. According to Census India website Daurra Mafi is a ‘town’ located in kohli tehsil of Aligarh district in Uttar pradesh, with more than 14000 households.

Residents of Daurra Mafi, an earstwhile village, who held pride on not only the highest rural literacy rate but also for its quality of education would have been happier had Daurra Mafi was recognized as a ‘smart village’.

In a telephonic interview to Asian News Makers, M Noorul Amin, who was the Gram Pradhan of the village since the year 2000, said, “We feel very proud that our village is considered as the most literate village in Asia, but it would have been better if our village received the status of “Smart Village” instead of a town. As a distinct identity of smart village Dhorra Gaon, which got recognition due to its unique efforts in the field of educated, could have been used as a model for other villages.”

Amin, who is also a qualified doctor, said that they worked hard for the development of this village but the administration did not consider their proposal for ‘smart village’. Amin feel disgruntled as with the changed status Daurra Mafi would loose its distinct identity, “I fail to understand why the administration ignored a simple request,” Amin added.

The process of merging Dhaurra with Aligarh district started in 2018 and now it is part of Municipal Council of Aligarh. Situated in the Aligarh District of Uttar Pradesh, Dhorra Mafi, now a town, lies in the proximity of Aligarh Muslim University. It is located 4 km towards North from District head quarters Aligarh.

With a population of 18-20,000 people the village was self sufficient with all necessary amenities. Breaking away all the clitches associated with village identity, Daurra Mafi was also considered the most developed village of the country with regular Electricity supply, water supply, English medium schools, Hospitals and Banks. With Literacy rate of 77.77, higher than the state average of 67.68 and its remarkable male-female literacy ratio got it achieve the distinct recognition. Due to male literacy of 82.48% and female literacy of 72.62% its name was proposed for Guinness World Records.

Earstwhile Dhorra Village first became the household name after SuperStar Amitabh Bachchan asked a question in his famous television quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati, “which is the most educated village of Asia?”

This Gaon or ‘village’ as the nostalgic residents still prefer to call it, has given many scientists, doctors, Engineers, Professors and IAS officers to the country. Most of the people belonging to this village are in government jobs and many of them are settled abroad.

Because of its close proximity with Aigarh Muslim University (AMU), it has been instrumental in giving education to men and women equally. Faiz Mustafa of this village was a vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. Dr Shadab Bano and Dr Naima Gurrej are the professors and IAS Dr Siraj an IAS officer also belongs to this village.

Daurra Mafi, the ‘village’ which worked hard to surpass the cliched definition of an Indian village perhaps become the victim of the development criteria which it tried to replicate for itself and wanted to set examples for rural India. Residents feel, while they tried to redefine the image of an Indian village by setting examples of availability of good education, health and infrastructure in village, it would have been better had Daurra Mafi’s ‘village’ status was retained and exemplified as a ‘model Indian village’.

Related posts