Village Khaloaa, just 12 km from Agra, has an inspiring story to tell. Six months back, a few members of this village attended 'Anna ki Pathshala' (A talk on Anna's ideals). The values discussed there inspired them. They went back, called the villagers and informed them about Anna's ideals of shuddh vichar (purity of thoughts), shuddh achar (purity of action), nishkalank jeevan (spotless life), tyaag (sacrifice) and apmaan pene ki shakti (tolerance to bear insult).
These and the villagers' unity has turned Khaloaa into a 'corruption-free' village today. Around 80 villagers volunteered to form a committee to check acts of corruption and spread Anna's message among their community members.
Next time the patwari (official who maintains land records) asked for a bribe, the villagers staged a dharna (protest) outside his office. By evening, around 200 others joined them. The patwari was forced to bow before their united power and the work was done without a penny. Since then, no government official has dared to ask for bribe from Khaloaa villagers. In fact, the authorities themselves have approached the villagers to construct roads that were being delayed for years. The unity compelled the authorities to act.
The village committee also succeeded in closing down all liquor shops in the area. Any one found drinking alcohol or playing cards is fined Rs 500 in the first instance and Rs 1000 henceforth. Khaloaa has inspired nearby villages to adopt their model. Panchayats of neighbouring villages are forming village committees to fight corruption in their own areas.
Anna has also changed the face of Shankarpura village in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh. Mukesh and Sharan Singh of this village sat on an indefinite fast along with Anna Hazare during the 2011 'August Kranti'. On the 10th day of hunger strike, the local administration brought in Mukesh's mother and asked her to break his fast. But the mother was braver than the son. She said, "Not only Mukesh, I am ready to sacrifice the lives of my other sons too for my nation." The officials were helpless and finally Mukesh and Sharan broke their fast after Anna did so in Delhi. But their struggle is not limited to fight against corruption. The villagers have formed a small committee that keeps a check on consumption of tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Their efforts have made their village a tobacco-free community.
Team Anna's Lokpal movement, that was criticised for being urban-centric, is now nearing the villages. The ideals of honesty and integrity are connecting with people in India's rural hinterlands.