A state where one is born and brought up is where the heart always lies!
It is always the origin that defines them and makes them distinct. When anyone is asked about their roots, people generally mention their respective city/village. Usually there are various reactions, ranging from familiarity to appreciation. Famous places like Delhi and Mumbai draw looks of familiarity but mention Chhattisgarh and you will hear the same cliched questions:
1. Is it in Jharkhand?
2. Is it in UP ?
3. Didn’t you just split from Odisha ?
And to those rare humble human beings who would know the state would say: ‘Oh yeah, isn’t that the naxal infested state?’. And no, we don’t have ‘naxalites’ as our neighbours nor is Chhattisgarh dangerous for tourists.
Coming from a state which is relatively new, it’s disappointing when people from metro cities have absolutely zilch knowledge about our existence and cultures! But here we are, trying to be the face of our state, representing it in all possible avenues. A true Chhattisgarhi at heart, I take proud to talk in a local dialect, keep my local culture and cuisine alive irrespective of staying outside.
And to everyone who has ever asked ‘Chhattisgarh – Where’s that?’: here are a few pointers which will prove the richness of our land!
1. Foremost Producers of Steel in India
Chhattisgarh is the 10th largest state in India and has the powerhouse of steel in India: BSP-Bhilai Steel Plant. It accounts for 15% of the steel produced in India which is also the 10 times winner of Prime Minister’s Trophy for bets integrated steel plants in India.
2. Treasure house of Tribal Culture
The place is an amazing treasure house of age old tribal culture and history. Not to forget the world famous bell metal handicrafts and terracotta items. With many tribes like Gond, Pando, Korwa, Bheel, Kamar, Baiga, Abujhmar who live in Chhattisgarh. Every one of them has separate customs and lifestyle which truly make Chhattisgarh an amalgamation of cultures!
3. Growth Rate is Commendable
We have innumerable cement plants and are a huge hub of paddy culture. We have a high growth rate of NSDP (8.2% vs. 7.1% All India over 2002–2008) which is higher than any other state across the country. And yet here I am answering the ignorants and enlightening them.
4. The ‘Friendly Neighbour’
It shares boundaries with 7 states. UP in North, Jharkhand in Northeast, Odisha in East, AP in South, Telangana in Southwest, Maharashtra in West and MP in Northwest.
5. Producer of Tendu Leaves & Rice Bowl of India
The state accounts for 70% of Tendu Leaves and is also known as “Dhan ka Katora” means “Rice Bowl” of Nation.
6. A Huge Wealth of Natural Resources
First in the nation for coal production. First in tin production. Third in Iron-ore production! This is just a glimpse of our contribution to India’s growth chart.
7. Ecological Life
Chhattisgarh has 3 National Parks and 11 wild life sanctuaries making it one of the most important contributors to the flaura and fauna map of India.
8. More to Women Power!
We have a high Sex Ratio of 991/1000 putting it at 5th among Indian states. Talk about diversity, we are practicing it and setting an example for the Nation.
9. New Industrial Policies Will Help us Grow
The new updated industrial policy of Chhattisgarh affirms the state’s industrial policy for 2014-19 with the support of ‘Make in Chhattisgarh’ campaign by offering priority to the manufacturing commercial ventures. This will accelerate us further in the growth chart giving a much required boost to ‘Make in India’
10. Of Majestic Sceneries And Potential Tourism
India’s biggest waterfall is situated in Bastar, Chhattisgarh.
This doesn’t mean there are no internal forces or threats like naxalism etc but then every state has it’s own issues and we must come together to combat the same.
Like a popular Bollywood movie’s dialogue:
“Koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota, use perfect banana padta hai..”
We all need to strive to make our Chhattisgarh better!
[Contributed by: Aastha Kesarwani]