"Every sixth person in the world lives in India
Every sixth Indian lives in the State of Uttar Pradesh
Every sixth person in Uttar Pradesh lives in Eastern U.P
And Mijwan is in Eastern Uttar Pradesh
Fifteen years ago, the poet Kaifi Azmi decided to change the destiny of his village. In the heart of Uttar Pradesh (U.P), one of the poorest regions in the world, Mijwan is one of the 600,000 villages located in India. Located in district Azamgarh, it ranked very low on the Human Development Index (HDI). High infant mortality rates alongside high birth rates, low literacy with less than 3% female literacy, poor housing, near absence of health and sanitation facilities, lack of access to clean drinking water, low nutrition- characteristics of the U.P region were also to be found in this village.
Rampant employment and underemployment coupled with small and unviable land holdings continue to cause a migration of men out of villages into large Indian cities and West Asia. More than 40% children drop out of primary education and join the labour force. Women are socially and economically restricted. However in this village, Kaifi Azmi has translated his dream into action. His work over the past decade and a half geared towards enabling the residents of Mijwan and their neighbours to enter 21stcentury with confidence and dignity.