Focusing on development as priority, Naxal-affected Dantewada has come a long way.
Dantewada is one of the southernmost districts of Chhattisgarh. Home to nearly 5.5 lakh people, Dantewada has been in the news for many wrong reasons. In April 2010, Maoist rebels killed 76 CRPF men in a series of attacks on security convoys. The very next month, a civilian bus hit a landmine 50 km away from Dantewada. Nearly 40 people died in the attack, including civilians and Special Police Officers.
Taking development as priority, Dantewada has come a long way since then. Once a part of the single district of Bastar, larger than the size of Kerala, Dantewada is now one of the 6 districts created over the past two decades. This has helped the state government improve administration and increased grassroot focus in the Bastar Division.
With increasing road and rail connectivity and creation of jobs, Dantewada is growing in the right direction. Take the example of Education City, built in the village of Javanga in Dantewada’s Gidam block. Situated on the National Highway 16, the educational hub is spread over 170 acres of land, supporting more than 6,000 students, mostly from tribal families. From degree and polytechnic colleges to a school dedicated to address the needs of children with disability, Dantewada’s Education City is creating an army of first-generation literates.
Dantewada, the land of India’s oldest inhabitants, is slowly scripting change while embracing the tribal way of life. We present to you photographs clicked in Dantewada’s villages and towns, photographs that chronicle a future of hope quietly unfolding in the district.