Due to the central government paying compensation in exchange for the land parcel it took over to build the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail, villagers have reportedly become billionaires.
Must Watch: Would you live on 3D Printed Mars for a year for $60,000?
The house in question sits on the side of the busiest street in the Antroli village in Palsana taluka of Surat district. It’s the one that leads to the gram panchayat headquarters. A swanky three-storey structure, it is coloured tastefully in ivory and chocolate brown; the front door secured by a biometric scanner. A solar panel sits tight on the roof. The ground level leads to a plush living area on the first floor, with an airy terrace that houses a swing, a staple in most homes in Gujarat.
On the sofa sits Indravadan Vyas, the village priest, and his son Parimal, who has followed in his father’s footsteps, serving the village with sacred know-how. “You can either view it as karma or dharma. In karma, God rewards you for your good deeds. In dharma, you tell God what you wish for,” says Parimal stoically.
The wiry, bearded man is in a philosophical mood for good reason. Till three years ago, the family had a five-figure monthly income which they earned by conducting rituals in Antroli and neighbouring villages. Their home was a modest two-storey structure sitting deeper inside the village.
Then, in 2019, Indravadan witnessed Rs 34 crore drop into his bank account, all of it tax free; all of it legal. All beyond his wildest dreams. “You can either call it logic or magic,” Parimal continues.
Subscribe to GreatGameIndia
Indigenous “warriors,” consisting of young men from the Amazon village of Sao Luis, patrol the Javari River while defending their territory using bows and spears.