(Last Updated on : 13/08/2012)
One of the newly formed states in Central India, Chhattisgarh, comprises several villages. A major portion of the state's total population lives in the villages. There are about 19,744 villages in Chhattisgarh and the villages represent a wonderful social and cultural diversity. People of various religions live in the villages of Chhattisgarh in harmony.
The villages of Chhattisgarh are spread throughout the 18 districts of the state. Hence, the villages can be divided according to the districts, like the villages in Bijapur district, villages in Bilaspur district, villages in Durg district, villages in Janjgir-Champa district, villages in Kabirdham (Kawardha) district, villages in Narayanpur district, villages in Raigarh district, villages in Raipur district, villages in Rajnandgaon district, etc.
The educational scenario in the villages of Chhattisgarh is quite impressive. The literacy rate in the villages is about 45%. The rural female literacy in Chhattisgarh is around 25 percent. On the other hand, the literacy rate amongst the Scheduled Tribes is just above 40 percent. However, the State Government of Chhattisgarh has taken many initiatives to improve the educational scenario. Several schools, colleges and universities have been established in the state for providing education to the people at primary to postgraduate levels.
Agriculture is the principal occupation in the villages of Chhattisgarh. About 80% of the total population of Chhattisgarh is dependent on agriculture and the state makes a huge contribution to the total agricultural production of India. The state is in fact referred to as the rice bowl of central India. The main crops cultivated in the villages of Chhattisgarh include wheat, paddy, groundnut, the cereals like maize, kodo-kutki, the pulses like tur, kulthi and the oilseeds like groundnut, Niger, sunflower, soybean, etc. Apart from agriculture, the villagers of Chhattisgarh are also engaged in the steel and cement production industries. Another leading occupation of the villagers is power production. Chhattisgarh is counted amongst the very few states in India that boasts of a power surplus. More than 95% of the villages of Chhattisgarh have been electrified and the villagers have access to thermal, hydro or solar energy. Apart from agriculture, industry and power production, the people in the villages of Chhattisgarh are involved in mining industry as well.
Almost all the villages in Chhattisgarh have a village temple in which the villagers worship the village deity. They believe that the village deity will protect them from all kinds of natural calamities and other problems and also ensure prosperity of the village. Various gods and goddesses are worshipped in the villages of Chhattisgarh including Lord Shiva/Bhairava, Vishnu, Devi, goddess Durga, etc. The villagers arrange for a paid or unpaid Brahmin to conduct Puja in the temple and they worship the village deity on a regular basis. Apart from the temples, the villages of Chhattisgarh also have holy places of the other religions like Masjid, Church, Pagoda, etc. People of all religions celebrate their respective religious festivals together and enjoy light moments.
Numerous religious and social festivals are celebrated in the villages of Chhattisgarh. The fairs and festivals offer a rare opportunity to experience a unique tribal culture. The state is famous for celebrating temple festivals that attract many tourists from all over the country every year. The most famous temple festivals in Chhattisgarh include the Dussehra, Deepavali, Holi, Pola, Govardhan Pooja, Nawakhai, etc. Apart from these temple festivals, there are also a few other festivals celebrated in the villages of Chhattisgarh. These festivals are the Bhagoriya Festival, Bhoramdeo Mahotsav, Chakradhar Festival, Goncha Festival, Kajari Festival, Madai Festival, Narayanpur Mela, Rajim Mochan Mahotsav, Sheorinarayan Fair, etc. The villagers in Chhattisgarh celebrate all these festivals with great passion and festivity.
The State Government of Chhattisgarh has recently taken a unique initiative named Ayurveda Gram Yojana to make 25 villages of the state as Ayurvedic Villages. Under this initiative, the villagers of these villages are being motivated to take up cultivation of herbal medicines. The selected villages are located in the districts like Raipur, Durg, Bilaspur and Janjgir-Champa. The main objective of the initiative is to properly utilise the rich amount of herbal medicines the state possess.
The villages of Chhattisgarh are famous for their wonderful diversity and social variety. The people in the villages live a colourful life by celebrating various festivals and they also try to help each other whenever the need arises.