Ratnagiri: Religious communities of the picturesque village of Burondi in Ratnagiri district have inked a pact to protect 'communal harmony' for the next 100 years in Maharashtra, representatives said here Monday.

The pact was formally signed last month by leaders of the local Hindu and Muslim community along with witnesses, duly notarized, and copies were provided to all stakeholders, in the presence of a large number of villagers.

Village head Pradip Rane, 44, said the main objective of the agreement, considered the first of its kind in the country, between the two main communities was to create awareness and importance of communal harmony, especially among the generation next.

"The younger generation of both the communities does not understand the meaning of amity, brotherhood and communal unity which is essential for progress and prosperity of everyone. We have taken the first steps through this agreement," Rane told IANS.

Concurring, Ashraf Mastan, 43, a fisherman and Muslim leader who has signed on behalf of his community, said the villagers have progressed a lot on the communal amity front in the past 25 years.

"There was a time when we had to virtually struggle to get permission for our religious functions ... See the changed scenario when the two communities have agreed to work for each other and jointly progress," Mastan told IANS.