COVID-19 has brought out the best of humanity. But also exposed a lot of hypocrisy about global health solidarity even as policies of national and sub-national selfishness have worsened inequalities. But in a tiny corner of India, the villagers didn’t lament their leaders nor their gods. They conquered the pandemic by taking matters into their own hands. Their lesson for the wider world is neither new nor complex. But easily overlooked in our sophisticated technocratic age. What can the world learn?