Located in the central part of India, Chhattisgarh is the tenth largest state of the country. The state was born in the year 2000 when its region was carved out of the state of Madhya Pradesh. Being a landlocked area, Chhattisgarh shares its borders with the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Telangana.
The state is blessed with a dense forest cover, making it one of the largest in terms of forest resource and biodiversity. It also boasts of having the second largest mineral reserves in the country. The region has maintained a stable growth in its literacy rate, bringing it close to the national average. However literacy among the females is much lower in comparison to that amongst males.
Majority of the population of Chhattisgarh resides in rural and remote areas. Its population density is merely 189 persons per square kilometer, making it one of the most sparsely populated states in the country. More than 30% of the population belongs to ethnic groups, who chiefly depend on small-scale farming and forest produce for their sustenance. However, their seclusion from the outside world has kept them distant from the sphere of progress. Nonexistence of information and communication mediums in most of Chhattisgarh has created a serious knowledge vacuum across the region. For instance, absence of digital tools has created lack of awareness regarding various welfare schemes and programmes launched specially to benefit the underreached. In such a scenario, a large section of the population is deprives of even the most basic facilities, such as education, healthcare, drinking water and sanitation.
To connect the hidden corners of Chhattisgarh to mainstream progress, it is a prerequisite to catalyse digital inclusion in the region. It is essential to provide the community an easy access to all kinds of information, related to welfare schemes, rights and entitlements, innovative livelihood opportunities and capacity building, besides national and international know-how.
The Information and Communication Technology services made available through CIRCs would ensure that every piece of information necessary for progress promptly reaches the right audience. With internet, men and women from the tribal community could now explore new ideas to enhance their current occupations, besides discovering better livelihood opportunities. For instance, e-Commerce would not only help ethnic artisans to showcase their skills globally but help them flourish in national and international markets. With computer education, a plethora of professional avenues would open to the tribal youth, so that they could shape a bright future for themselves.
CIRCs have been playing a vital role in encouraging participation and governance among rural communities. They have been acting as equitable platforms where community members gather and exchange views on issues arising at the local level and collectively formulate viable solutions.
|Area||1.35 Lakh Sq. Km.|
|Total Population||2.55 Crore (Rural 77%)|
|Population Density||189/Sq. Km.|
|Sex Ratio (for 1000 males)||991:1000 (Rural 1001:1000; Urban 956:1000)|
|Total Literacy (7+ years)||70.28% (Male 80.27%; Female 60.24%)|
|Rural Literacy (7+ years)||65.99% (Male 76.98%; Female 55.06%)|
|Urban Literacy (7+ years)||84.05% (Male 90.58%; Female 77.24%)|
|Total Scheduled Caste Population*||17.4%|
|Total Scheduled Tribe Population*||31.1%|
|Total Worker Population||47.68% (Female 39.70%)|
|Total Gram Panchayats||9,655|
(* The figures are according to 2001 Census)