Chhattisgarh, one of the north-eastern states of India, came into existence after the partition of the Madhya-Pradesh in year 2000. It comprises of those districts of erstwhile Madhya-Pradesh where Chhattisgarhi is the most common language spoken by the residents of the state. As of now, the state is divided into sixteen districts. Chhattisgarh is one of the rich states with large amount of mineral resources such as iron ore, coal, bauxite, lime stone, dolomite and some others include diamond, tin ore, gold, base metals, graphite etc. The main sources of income for the large stratum of the population is agriculture and allied activities mainly horticulture and animal husbandry. Maize and rice are the major crops grown in the state and various pulses, millets and oilseeds, soya beans are grown in some parts of the state. The major section of industrial sector is steel industry, coal mining, production of aluminium, bauxite and mining of the other minerals and there purification.
The socio-economic status, as measured by human indices like literacy rate, provision of medical services is very poor especially in the rural and tribal areas. There is lack of availability of basic infrastructural facilities such as clean water for drinking, sanitation, shelter, telephone services, electricity and transport facilities in the rural areas of Chhattisgarh. The major population of Chhattisgarh is tribal and there standards of living are very poor. The fertility rate is very high in the rural population. The large portion of the labour class working in mines is suffering from life threatening aliments and not getting medical help from their employer companies. Large number of workers dies every year with the lack of health care facilities.
The population of lower stratum of Chhattisgarh is not aware of their health related issues, cleanliness and environmental conditions. Dealing with the health problems is the major issue for the tribals due to the lack of health care facilities and number of families every day bears the grief of separation of their loved ones due to unnatural deaths. In the tribal areas and rural areas education system has a bleak presence. In some of the tribal areas there are no schools at all. The tribal people are still struggling for their existence in society. They want to be respected by the people from the outer world. Their culture, traditional means of livelihood, their niche needs protection from the reoccurring attacks by profiteers of so called civilized world. They want to live fear free.
Many movements started by the left ideology organisations such as Naxlite movement and Maoists movements have found space in various aspects of the tribal lives. These movements in turn have made great effects on the lives of tribal people due to socio-economic reasons. It has observed that due to the pressure built by the Maoists on the effective people of the stratum such as landlords, village heads, Money lenders, usurpers and the financiers, leads to building up of confidence and courage in the tribal people to speak out against their cruelties and to live a respectful life. This aspect also provides the basis of the ideological justification advanced by many intellectuals for the violence involved in these political movements. The areas affected by Naxalite and Maoist movement are in critical situation.
Apart from these movements a number of social change makers and volunteers are working to empower and uplift the underprivileged tribal and rural population of Chhattisgarh. Social change makers are working in various non-profit and non-governmental organisations to uplift the standards of living of tribal people. Various NGOs are involved in studying the tribal culture and the impacts that various environmental and socio-economic projects bear upon their lives. NGOs have also been working on the issues related to women health, education, overall empowerment and against the social evils that directly or indirectly works as a obstacle in the path of the tribal and rural development.
The condition of the women and the children are very poor and children of the tribes are prone to malnutrition. The health status of the under 5 years of age children are pathetic and their mortality rate is high, due to the lack of health facilities the rate of death of neonates and newborns is also high. Woman is fighting for her dignity and respect as she is facing obstacles every day and every time to prove that she is also a living being and having the right to fight for her own rights. Literacy rate is very low and poverty rate is very high and these are the basic factors responsible for the worst conditions of Chhattisgarhi people and also for the people of lower stratum in all over the country.
Non-governmental organisations are working for the child development and on the issues of child labour, child marriages, domestic violence against children. Illiteracy is another major issue as there is lack of availability of the educational bodies like government primary and secondary school. There is a lack of government concerns towards the basic needs of the tribal. Groups of volunteers go to teach the children of the tribal areas. Still the conditions of the tribal’s demand more concerns and expect more dedicated work from the NGOs for their upliftment. There is need to work on other related issues including the fulfilment of their livelihood requirements apart from environmental safety, protection of the natural resources, saving the girl child, health related legal rights etc. to uplift the underprivileged downtrodden section of Indian society.