Industrialisation and forced sterilisation programmes may be some reasons for the trend
Growth of population in Chhattisgarh’s Naxalite-hit areas like Bijapur and Dantewada has seen a sharp decline and the number of people residing in Raipur, the capital of the state, has increased rapidly, according to the recently-released census figures of 2011 for the state.
According to a few experts, the trend can be attributed to decrease in livelihood opportunities (caused by deforestation) and counter-insurgency operations resulting in large-scale migration out of the Naxalite and tribal belt of Chhattisgarh.
The figures suggest that districts like Bijapur, Nanarayanpur, Kankar, Dhantar, Dantewada, Bastar, Koriya, Sarguja and Korbahave witnessed a sharp decrease in the growth rate of population in the last three decades. Out of these, population numbers in Bijapur, Koriya and Dhantar have seen maximum decline.
In Bijapur, the population growth rate in 1991 was 32.10 per cent which reduced to 19.30 per cent in 2001 and declined further to 8.78 per cent in 2011. The figures for Koriya stand at 30.15 per cent in 1991, 17.09 per cent in 2001 and 12.38 per cent in 2011. Check out the table below to see the decline in various districts in the belt:
|District||Census year||Decreasing rate of population growth (in %)|
|Uttar Bastar Kanker||1991||23.67|
|Dakshin Bastar, Dantewada||1991||17.6|
A study conducted by Nandini Sundar, a Delhi-based academician, showed that more than 47,000 people from villages of districts of Dantewada, Bijapur and Sukma were evacuated and forced to live in relief camps. “Around 644 villages were forcefully evacuated in harsher times,” added Sundar who also hinted at misuse of family planning programmes and forced sterilisation becoming a norm in those areas.
Another academician and human rights activist, Bela Bhatia, blamed the counter insurgency operations like Salwa Judum for displacement and large-scale migration from conflict-affected zones.
On the condition of anonymity, a health activist working for a decade among tribals said, “Laparoscopic sterilisation is being forced on poor population and reports of people dying in sterilisation camps are common.”
Anurag Modi, a Madhya Pradesh-based tribal activist, blamed the trend to human trafficking. “Disappearance of a large number of tribal girls, who are either abducted or sold in states like Haryana which has poor sex ratio, could be another kind of forced migration, he said.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.