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Chhattisgarh is a state in Central India. The state was formed on November 1, 2000 by partitioning 16Chhattisgarhi-speaking south-eastern districts of Madhya Pradesh. Raipur is the capital of Chhattisgarh, which is the 10th largest state in India, with an area of 135,190 km2 (52,200 sq mi). By population, it ranks as the 16th most-populated state of the nation. It is an important electricity and steel-producing state of India. Chhattisgarh accounts for 15% of the total steel produced in the country.

Chhattisgarh borders the states of Madhya Pradesh in the northwest, Maharashtra in the west, Andhra Pradesh in the south, Orissa in the east, Jharkhand in the northeast and Uttar Pradesh in the north. History Ancient and medieval history In ancient times, this region was known as Dakshin-Kausal. This area also finds mention in Ramayana and Mahabharata. Between the sixth and twelfth centuries, Sarabhpurias, Panduavanshi, Somvanshi, Kalchuri and Nagvanshi rulers dominated this region. Kalchuris also ruled in Chhattisgarh from 980 to 1741 AD. Modern history

The area constituting the new state merged into Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 1956, under the States Re-organization Act and remained a part of that state for 44 years. Prior to its becoming a part of the new state of Madhya Pradesh, the region was part of old Madhya Pradesh State, with its capital at Nagpur. Prior to that, the region was part of the Central Provinces and Berar province (CP and Berar) under the British rule. Some areas constituting the Chhattisgarh state were princely states under the British rule, but later on were merged into Madhya Pradesh.

Chhattisgarh was under Maratha rule (Bhonsales of Nagpur) from 1741 to 1845 AD. It came under British rule from 1845 to 1947. Raipur gained prominence over the capital Ratanpur with the advent of the British in 1845. In 1905, the Sambalpur district was transferred to Orissa and the estates of Sarguja were transferred from Bengal to Chhattisgarh. Separation of Chhattisgarh The present state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 2000. The demand for a separate state was first raised in the 1920s.

Similar demands kept cropping up at regular intervals; however, a well-organized movement was never launched. Several all-party platforms were formed and they usually resolved around petitions, public meetings, seminars, rallies and strikes. A demand for separate Chhattisgarh was raised in 1924 by the Raipur Congress unit and also discussed in the Annual Session of the Indian Congress at Tripuri. A discussion also took place of forming a Regional Congress organization for Chhattisgarh. When the State Reorganisation Commission was set up in 1954, the demand for a separate Chhattisgarh was put forward, but was not accepted.

In 1955, a demand for a separate state was raised in the Nagpur assembly of the then state of Madhya Bharat. The 1990s saw more activity for a demand for the new state, such as the formation of a state-wide political forum, especially the Chhattisgarh Rajya Nirman Manch. Chandulal Chadrakar led this forum, several successful region-wide strikes and rallies were organized under the banner of the forum, all of which were supported by major political parties, including the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government sent the redrafted Separate Chhattisgarh Bill for the approval of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, where it was once again unanimously approved and then it was tabled in the Lok Sabha. This bill for a separate Chhattisgarh was passed in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, paving the way for the creation of a separate state of Chhattisgarh. The President of India gave his consent to the Madhya Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000 on August 25, 2000. The Government of India subsequently set November 1, 2000, as the day the state of Madhya Pradesh would be divided into Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Human Development Indicators (HDIs) HDI Value Chhattisgarh with a HDI value of 0. 358 has the dubious distinction of being an Indian state with the lowest HDI Value. The national average HDI Value is 0. 467 according to 2011 Indian NHDR report. Standard of living Chhattisgarh has one of the lowest standards of living in India as per the Income Index (0. 127) along with the states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. These states have incomes below the national average, with Bihar having the lowest income per capita.

These poor states, despite low absolute incomes, have witnessed high Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) growth rates especially Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Uttarakhand which had growth rates above 10 per cent per annum during the Tenth Five Year Plan period (2002–7). Education Index Chhattisgarh has an Education Index of 0. 526 according to 2011 NHDR which is higher than that of states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan which are below the 0. 5 mark. Though, it is lower than the national average of 0. 563. With respect to literacy, the state fared just below the national average.

The recent estimates from Census (2011) also depict a similar picture with the literacy rate of 71 per cent (81. 4% Males & 60. 5% Females), which is close to the all India literacy rate of 74 per cent. According to NSS (2007–8), the literacy rate for STs and SCs was better than the corresponding national average and this is a positive sign. Among the marginalized groups, STs are at the bottom of the rankings, further emphasizing the lack of social development in the state. Bastar and Dantewada in south Chhattisgarh are the most illiterate districts and the drop out ratio is the highest among all the districts.

The reason for this is the extreme poverty in rural areas. Health Index Health Index of Chhattisgarh is less than 0. 49, one of the lowest in the country. The Health Index is defined in terms of life expectancy at birth since a higher life expectancy at birth reflects better health outcomes for an individual. Despite different health related schemes and programmes, the health indicators such as percentage of women with BMI<18. 5, Under Five Mortality Rate and underweight children are poor. This may be due to the difficulty in accessing the remote areas in the state.

The prevalence of female malnutrition in Chhattisgarh is higher than the national average—half of the ST females are malnourished. The performance of SCs is a little better than the corresponding national and state average. The Under Five Mortality Rate among STs is significantly higher than the national average. The percentage of under-weight children in Chhattisgarh is also higher than the national average, further underlining the appalling health condition of the state’s population. Net State Domestic Product (NSDP)

Chhattisgarh is one of the emerging states with relatively high growth rates of NSDP (8. 2% vs. 7. 1% All India over 2002-2008) and per capita NSDP (6. 2% vs. 5. 4% All India over 2002-2008). The growth rates of the said parameters are above the national averages and thus it appears that Chhattisgarh is catching up with other states in this respect. However, Chhattisgarh still has very low levels of per capita income as compared to the other states. Urbanisation The demographic profile shows that about 80 per cent of the total population lived in rural areas. Sex Ratio

The sex ratio in the state is one of the best in India with 991 females per 1,000 males, as is the child sex-ratio with 964 females per 1,000 males (Census 2011) Fertility Rate Chhattisgarh has a fairly high fertility rate (3. 1) as compared to All India (2. 6) and the replacement rate (2. 1). Chhattisgarh has rural fertility rate of 3. 2 and urban fertility rate of 2. 1. ST Population With the exception of the hilly states of the north-east, Chhattisgarh has one of highest shares of Scheduled Tribe (ST) population within a state, accounting for about 10 per cent of the STs in India.

Scheduled Castes and STs together constitute more than 50 per cent of the state’s population. The tribals of Chhattisgarh are an important part of the population and mainly inhabit the dense forests of Bastar and other districts of south Chhattisgarh. Poverty The incidence of poverty in Chhattisgarh is very high but is better than Orissa and Bihar. The estimated poverty ratio in 2004–5 based on uniform reference period consumption was around 50 per cent, which is approximately double the all India level. The incidence of poverty in the rural and urban areas is almost the same.

More than half of the rural STs and urban SCs are poor. In general, the proportion of poor SC and ST households in the state is higher than the state average and their community’s respective national averages (except for rural SC households). Given that more than 50 per cent of the state’s population comprises STs and SCs, the high incidence of income poverty among them is a matter of serious concern in the state. This indicates that the good economic performance in recent years has not percolated to this socially deprived group, which is reflected in their poor performance in human development indicators.

Access to drinking water In terms of access to improved drinking water sources, at the aggregate level, Chhattisgarh fared better than the national average and the SCs of the state performed better than the corresponding national average. Scheduled Tribes are marginally below the state average, but still better than the STs at the all India level. The proportion of households with access to improved sources of drinking water in 2008–9 was 91 per cent. This proportion was over 90 per cent even in states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

This was largely because these states had over 70 per cent of their households accessing tube wells/ hand pumps as sources of drinking water. Sanitation Sanitation facilities in the state are abysmally low with only about 27 per cent having toilet facilities, which is far below the all-India average of 44%. The STs are the most deprived section in this regard with only 18 per cent of the ST households having toilet facilities, which is lower than the all India average for STs. The SCs also have a lower proportion of households with toilet facilities as compared to the all India average.

States with low sanitation coverage in 2001 that improved coverage by 4-10% points are Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh, Daman and Diu, Haryana, Sikkim, Punjab, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa and Uttarakhand registered increased coverage by more than 20 percentage points. Teledensity Across states, it has been found that teledensity was below 10 per cent in 2010 for Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, reflecting a lack of access to telephones in these relatively poorer states.

On the other hand, for states like Delhi and Himachal Pradesh and metropolitan cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, teledensity was over 100 per cent in 2010 implying that individuals have more than one telephone connection. Road Density The road length per 100 km2 (62,000 mi) was less than the national average of 81 km (81,000 m) per 100 km2 (62,000 mi) in Chhattisgarh. The rural areas of Chhattisgarh failed to meet their targets of constructing new roads under PMGSY. Demographics Chhattisgarh is primarily a rural state with only 20% of population residing in urban areas.

According to the report from the government of India, at least 34% are Scheduled Tribes, 12% are Scheduled Castes and over 50% belong to official list of OBC. Plain area is numerically dominated by castes such as Teli, Satnami and Kurmi; while forest area is mainly occupied by tribes such as Gond, Halba and Kamar/Bujia and Oraon. Religion There were 20. 8 million people in Chhattisgarh as per the census 2001 of which 94. 7% were Hindu, 2% Muslim and 1. 9% Christian. Language The official language of the state is Hindi and is used by non-rural population of the state.

Chhattisgarhi, a dialect of Hindi language, is spoken and understood by the majority of people in Chhattisgarh. Telugu is also spoken as a minority language in parts of Chhattishgarh. Chhattisgarhi was known as “Khaltahi” to the surrounding hill-people and as “Laria” to Sambalpuri and Oriya speakers. Kosali and Oriyaare also spoken by a lot of people. Status of women Chhattisgarh has a high female-male sex ratio (991) ranking at the 5th position among other states of India. Although this ratio is small compared to other states, it is unique in India because Chhattisharh is — the 10th largest state in India.

The gender ratio (number of females per 1000 males) has been steadily declining over 20th century in Chhattisgarh. But it is conspicuous that Chhattisgarh always had a better female-to-male ratio compared with national average. Probably, such social composition also results in some customs and cultural practices that seem unique to Chhattisgarh: The regional variants are common in India’s diverse cultural pattern. Rural women, although poor, are independent, better organized, socially outspoken. According to another local custom, women can choose to terminate a marriage relationship through a custom called chudi pahanana, if she desires.

Most of the old temples and shrines here are related to ‘women power’ (e. g. , Shabari, Mahamaya, Danteshwari) and the existence of these temples gives insight into historical and current social fabric of this state. However, a mention of these progressive local customs in no way suggests that the ideology of female subservience does not exist in Chhattisgarh. On the contrary, the male authority and dominance is seen quite clearly in the social and cultural life. Economy Chhattisgarh’s gross state domestic product for 2010 is estimated at INR 60,079 crore in current prices.

The economy of Chhattisgarh has grown rapidly in recent years with a growth rate of 11. 49 per cent in GDP for 2009–2010. Chhattisgarh’s success factors in achieving high growth rate are growth in agriculture and industrial production. Agriculture Agriculture is counted as the chief economic occupation of the state. According to a government estimate, net sown area of the state is 4. 828 million hectares and the gross sown area is 5. 788 million hectares. Horticulture and animal husbandry also engage a major share of the total population of the state.

About 80% of the population of the state is rural and the main livelihood of the villagers is agriculture and agriculture-based small industry. The majority of the farmers are still practicing the traditional methods of cultivation, resulting in low growth rates and productivity. The farmers have to be made aware of modern technologies suitable to their holdings. Providing adequate knowledge to the farmers is essential for better implementation of the agricultural development plans and to improve the productivity.

Considering this and a very limited irrigated area, the productivity of not only rice but also other crops is low, hence the farmers are unable to obtain economic benefits from agriculture and it has remained as subsistence agriculture till now. Agricultural products The main crops are rice, maize, kodo-kutki and other small millets and pulses (tuar and kulthi); oilseeds, such as groundnuts (peanuts), soybeans and sunflowers, are also grown. In the mid-1990s, most of Chhattisgarh was still a monocrop belt. Only one-fourth to one-fifth of the sown area was double-cropped.

When a very substantial portion of the population is dependent on agriculture, a situation where nearly 80% of a state’s area is covered only by one crop, immediate attention to turn them into double crop areas is needed. Also, very few cash crops are grown in Chhattisgarh, so there is a need to diversify the agriculture produce towards oilseeds and other cash crops. Chhattisgarh is also called the “rice bowl of central India”. Irrigation In Chhattisgarh, rice, the main crop, is grown on about 77% of the net sown area. Only about 20% of the area is under irrigation; the rest depends on rain.

Of the three agroclimatic zones, about 73% of the Chhattisgarh plains, 97% of the Bastar plateau and 95% of the northern hills are rain fed. The irrigated area available for double cropping is only 87,000 ha in Chhattisgarh plains and 2300 ha in Bastar plateau and northern hills. Due to this, the productivity of rice and other crops is low, hence the farmers are unable to obtain economic benefits from agriculture and it has remained as subsistence agriculture till now, though agriculture is the main occupation of more than 80% of the population.

In Chhattisgarh region about 22% of net cropped area was under irrigation as compared to 36. 5% in Madhya Pradesh in 1998-99, whereas the average national irrigation was about 40%. The irrigation is characterized by a high order of variability ranging from 1. 6% in Bastar to 75. 0% in Dhamtari. Based on an average growth trend in irrigated area, about 0. 43% additional area is brought under irrigation every year as compared to 1. 89% in Madhya Pradesh and 1. 0% in the country as a whole.

Thus, irrigation has been growing at a very low rate in Chhattisgarh and the pace of irrigation is so slow, it would take about 122 years to reach the 75% level of net irrigated area in Chhattisgarh at the present rate of growth. Chhattisgarh has a limited irrigation system, with dams and canals on some rivers. Average rainfall in the state is around 1400 mm and the entire state falls under the rice agroclimatic zone. Large variation in the yearly rainfall directly affects the production of rice.

Irrigation is the prime need of the state for its overall development and therefore the state government has given top priority to development of irrigation. A total of four major, 33 medium and 2199 minor irrigation projects have been completed and five major, 9 medium and 312 minor projects are under construction, as of 31 March 2006. Industrial sector Power sector Chhattisgarh is one of the few states of India where the power sector is effectively developed. Based on the current production of surplus electric power, the position of the State is comfortable and profitable.

The Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB) is in a strong position to meet the electricity requirement of the new state and is in good financial health. Chhattisgarh provides electricity to several other states because of surplus production and its power hubs are Korba and Bilaspur. In Chhattisgarh, NTPC has a thermal plant with the capacity of 2100 MW at Sipat, Bilaspur, while CSEB’s units have a thermal capacity of 1240 MW and hydel capacity of 130 MW. Apart from NTPC and CSEB, there are a number of private generation units of large and small capacity.

The state government has pursued a liberal policy with regard to captive generation which has resulted in a number of private players coming up. As per a study made by the Power Finance Corporation Ltd. , New Delhi, the state has potential of 61000 MW of additional thermal power in terms of availability of coal for more than 100 years and more than 2500 MW hydel capacity. To use this vast potential, substantial additions to the existing generation capacity are already under way. Steel sector The steel industry is one of the biggest heavy industries of Chhattisgarh.

Bhilai Steel Plant, Bhilai operated by SAIL, with a capacity of 5. 4 million tonnes per year, is regarded as a significant growth indicator of the state. More than 100 steel rolling mills, 90 sponge iron plants and ferro-alloy units are in Chhattisgarh. Along with Bhilai, today Raipur, Bilaspur, Korba and Raigarh have become the steel hub of Chhattisgarh. Today, Raipur has become the center of the steel sector, the biggest market for steel in India. Aluminium sector The aluminium industry of Chhattisgarh was established by Bharat Aluminum Company Limited, which has a capacity of around one million tonnes each year.

Culture The state hosts many religious sects such as Satnami Panth, Kabirpanth, Ramnami Samaj and others. Champaran (Chhattisgarh) is a small town with religious significance as the birthplace of the Saint Vallabhacharya, increasingly important as a pilgrimage site for the Gujarati community. The Oriya culture is prominent in the eastern parts of Chhattisgarh bordering Orissa. Crafts Chattisgarh is known for “Kosa silk” and “lost wax art”. Besides saris and salwar suits, the fabric is used to create lehengas, stoles, shawls and menswear including jackets, shirts, achkans and sherwanis.

International sculptor, Sushil Sakhuja’s Dhokra Nandi is famous and available at government’s Shabari handicrafts emporium, Raipur. Dance Panthi, Rawat Nacha, Karma, Pandwani, Chaitra, Kaksar, Saila and Soowa are the several indigenous dance styles of Chhattisgarh. Panthi Panthi, the folk dance of the Satnami community, has religious overtones. Panthi is performed on Maghi Purnima, the anniversary of the birth of Guru Ghasidas. The dancers dance around a jaitkhamb set up for the occasion, to songs eulogizing their spiritual head.

The songs reflect a view of nirvana, conveying the spirit of their guru’s renunciation and the teachings of saint poets like Kabir, Ramdas and Dadu. Dancers with bent torsos and swinging arms dance get carried away by their devotion. As the rhythm quickens, they perform acrobatics and form human pyramids. Pandwani Pandavani is a folk ballad form performed predominantly in Chhattisgarh. It depicts the story of the Pandavas, the leading characters in the epic Mahabharata. The artists in the Pandavani narration consist of a lead artist and some supporting singers and musicians.

There are two styles of narration in Pandavani, Vedamati and Kapalik. In the Vedamati style the lead artist narrates in a simple manner by sitting on the floor throughout the performance. The Kaplik style is livelier, where the narrator actually enacts the scenes and characters. Rawat Nacha Rawat Nacha, the folk dance of cowherds, is a traditional dance of Yaduvanshis (clan of Yadu) as symbol of worship to Krishna at the time of Dev Uthani Ekadashi (day of awakening of the gods after a brief rest) which is the 11th day after Diwali according to the Hindu calendar. The dance closely resembles Krishna’s dance with the gopis (milkmaids).

In Bilaspur, the Rawat Nach Mahotsav folk dance festival is organized annually since 1978. Tens of hundreds of Rawat dancers from remote areas participate. Soowa Nacha Soowa or Suwa tribal dance in Chhattisgarh is also known as Parrot Dance. It is a symbolic form of dancing related to worship. Dancers keep a parrot in a bamboo-pot and form a circle around it. Then performers sing and dance, moving around it with clapping. This is one of the main dance form of tribal women of Chhattisgarh. Karma Tribal groups like Gonds, the Baigas and the Oraons in Chattisgarh have Karma dance as part of their culture.

Both men and women arrange themselves in two rows and follow the rhythmic steps, directed by the singer group. The Karma tribal dance marks the end of the rainy season and the advent of spring season. Issues with development and insurgency It is one of the Red Corridor states. Chhattisgarh state is rich in timber and mineral resources. There are disagreements between indigenous peoples and the national government over the use of these resources. Also, an on-going insurgency between Maoists and the central Government of India has resulted in much bloodshed. Maoist insurgency has been main source of instability.