Chhattisgarh was an economically and socially underdeveloped region of undivided Madhya Pradesh. It was carved out of 16 Chhattisgarhi-speaking south-eastern districts of Madhya Pradesh in 2000. It is a source of steel and electricity, and this throws challenges and opportunities for development in the state. Chhattisgarh accounts for 10 per cent of Scheduled Tribes in India who live in Bastar and southern Chhattisgarh. The state Human Development Index in 2017 was 0.605, lower than the national average of 0.639 as per Global Data Lab and ranked 31 among the states and UTs.
Our work began in Chhattisgarh in 2004. We began with various programmes to improve educational quality: the Computer Aided Learning Programme, Learning Guarantee Programme, Education Leadership Development Programme, and so on. Around 2012, we moved from a ‘programme mode’ to an ‘institutional mode’, building professional capacities of key stakeholders through multiple modes of engagement via workshops, voluntary teacher forums, exposure visits, seminars, etc.
We now work in the districts of Dhamtari, Raipur, Baloda Bazar, Bemetara, Janjgir-Champa, Raigarh, and have initiated work in Surguja and Jashpur in 2022.