Mumbai: The adage 'charity begins at home' finds its true credibility in Gandhian Anna Hazare's success story. This anti-corruption crusader began his social works from his native village.

His native village Ralegansiddhi, located near Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district, is considered a model of environment conservation and village development since 1975, having achieved all this under the leadership of social activist Anna Hazare.

The village has carried out many eco-friendly programmes, including tree plantation, terracing to reduce soil erosion, and laying canals to retain rainwater. The village is also known for generating electricity using non-conventional sources of energy, including solar power, biogas and windmills.

The village is also known for 100 percent ban on alcohol.

This model village, of late, has become a tourist hot spot after Hazare's successful Lokpal Bill agitation in Delhi. Tourirst are flocking to this model village to see the great work done by Hazare.

Everyone wants to meet the anti-corruption crusader now. Sensing the great demand, operators have arranged tours to Ralegansiddhi, the model village crafted by Hazare that is also his home.

Suresh Pathare, personal assistant of Hazare, said, "Ralegansiddhi village has been gripped by 'Anna fever' and thousands of visitors are coming here to see how his village development model works."

Vijay Joshi, a government officer, said, "I am taking my family and children to Ralegansiddhi on Saturday. Instead of going to tourist places like Panchgani, I prefer to see Hazare's village. Many of my friends are also following my idea to visit the model village this summer."