The state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh on the 1st of November, 2000. It has 91 Legislative Assembly seats. The total population of the state is 2,55,40,196. The sex ratio is 991 for every 1000 male and child sex ratio is 964 for every 1000 male children born. The male literacy rate is 81.45% whereas female literacy rate is 60.59%. The state has a forest cover of approximately 44.21% .
According to 2001 census, the Scheduled Tribe (ST) population of Chhattisgarh State is 31.8 percent of the total population of the State. As many as 94.7 per cent of ST population resides in rural areas. At the district level, tribals have their highest concentration in Dantewada (78.5 per cent). The overall literacy rate of the STs is 52.1 per cent at 2001 census. Cultivators’ and ‘Agricultural Labourer’ together constitute 89 per cent of the total tribal workers. The figure points out that their land is their primary earning source. The overall sex ratio of the ST population in Chhattisgarh is 1013 females per 1000 males. Females outnumber the males among all the five major tribes, having over all sex ratio above 1000.
PARAS India works in the Sukma and Dantewada districts in cooperation with the state government and the district administration. The above mentioned districts are the hotbed of the long going turf between various stakeholders. At this background, what gets compromised the most is the childhood of innocent kids. They are unable to reap the benefits of education, a secure and prosperous future; they are bereft of an alternative career other than agriculture or mine workers. Chronic poverty, malnourishment, constant fear of lives has affected these districts so much so that there has been a trend of declining population. Not only this, basic facilities such as safe drinking water and improved sanitation practices are almost absent in the high poverty zones.
With the active support of the Chhattisgarh State Government, NGO PARAS India is working with various schools, which has been undertaken by the State Government to come up with innovative solutions that can tackle the unique problems associated with the region. We are constantly in touch with the students, providing them with opportunities to learn better, to understand the world better by way of residential tribal schools, various projects and activities conducted there and with a safe habitat. The PARAS India intervention is a small step in empowering a section of population that is bearing the double brunt of violence and underdevelopment.