Chhattisgarh is also called the "Rice Bowl of Central India" because multiple reasons. To start off over 20,000 variety of rice is produced in Chhattisgarh. In 2014 rice produced by Chhattisgarh is approx 75 lakh tons with a productivity of approximately 1600 kg/hec. And in 2015 Chhattisgarh produced approx 77 lakh tons rice with productivity of 1700 kg/hec. Chhattisgarh has won Krishi Karman award for achieving high rice production during the crop year 2012-13. Chhattisgarh is currently one of the main exporter states for rice in India and is considered one of the most productive states for rice in India. Little wonder its called the "Rice Bowl".
About 80% of the population of state is rural and main occupation of the villagers is agriculture. Here the climate is favorable for cultivation of rice and this crop mainly depends upon the water, which is fulfilled by the south west monsoon (June - Sept) and rest is fulfilled from irrigation from the rivers Mahanadi, Shivnath, Pairi, Sodhur, Jonk, Kelo, Indiravati and Canals.
Rice cultivation in Chhattisgarh occupies on average an area of 3.6 million hectares and the productivity ranging between 1.2 to 1.6 tonnes/ha depending upon the rainfall. For a state with a population of 25.5 million, this generates a huge surplus. Now the per capital consumption of rice in our country is around 400gm/day which creates a demand for rice. This helps CG become one of the main exporter of the rice in India. It is for these reasons that CG is called the Rice Bowl of Central India.
Chhattisgarh is famous for its lush forests and natural beauty. In fact, the state has 3 national parks and 11 wild life sanctuaries. In fact almost 12% of the total forest area in India is from the state. There are also many water falls, caves, rock painting, tribal villages, ancient monuments, temples, Buddhists sites & heritage palaces.This state is famous for Kosa silk.It is also famous for mines, minerals and it is called rice bowl of India.
Because it provides an ideal climate for rice cultivation, there are a lot of rice-based cuisines that have developed here like rice, Bari Bhat, Rice Chila. Other specialty cuisines include Red Ant Chutney, Bhaji, Mota roti, Kheer, Khusmi, Dhedhari.
For many who haven't visited Chhattisgarh, the first thing that comes to their mind while mentioning the state is Naxalism. It was the same for me when I got a job here in Raipur three years back. The first thing anyone would say to me when I mention my location were statements like:
> Dude, why did you accept? > Is it safe? > Are you looking for any other job?
My parents were worried and so were everyone I knew. I can't blame them for it though. A significant percentage of the news about Chhattisgarh that made it to National Media then was about the Maoist Insurgency. No one knew about > Naya Raipur project, > about 'Rice Bowl of Central India', or > about Chhattisgarh being one of the fastest growing states in India.
No one knew about anything else except about Chhattisgarh being a so called 'Naxal State'. The term 'Naxal State' is also something that needs to be questioned. Parts of the state like Bastar, Dantewada, Bijapur, Sarguja, Jashpur, Koriya, Sukma, Rajnandgaon are affected by this problem in varying degrees. But this doesnt mean that the entire state is affected.
Now suppose, you meet a guy who has this really big mustache. You both have lunch and after lunch he releases a very loud fart. A few days later, you meet another guy with a big moustache. You notice that he too farts loudly. A few days later, you hear about a friend talking about someone who farted in the bus. You go up to him and ask "Did he have a big moustache?" You can see where I am going with this. You will soon develop "The Theory of Farting" which states that "If a man has a big moustache then he farts loudly". This theory soon starts spreading, and soon enough no one wants to have lunch with the Big Moustache guys. And when someone does try and have lunch he is asked questions by others. Things like > Dude, why did you accept? > Is it loud? > Why dont you look for someone else to have lunch?
No one knows about > His awesome ideas, > about him being called 'Lord of Code', or > about him being one of the rising stars in the firm.
Don't you think that this above logic sounds ridiculous. In the three years that I have been living in Raipur, I am yet to be murdered or kidnapped for ransom. I am yet to meet a Naxal even. Raipur has a lot of issues but Naxalism is not one of them. Generalising Naxalism to the entire CG, though affects the state as a whole. > There might be firms who take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to set up shop here. > There might be tourists who decide not to visit the state due to this. > There might be problems when firms inside the state try and get employees from outside the state.
I still encounter these kind of questions when meeting people back home. I understand that Naxalism is a major issue that grips the state and is something that needs to dealt with on a priority basis. But a generalisation of an entire state based on one particular issue that does not affect the entire state. I find it quite irksome.