Vidharbha Region

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The Vidharbha Region is an area of 97,404 km2, making up 31.7% of the land area of the state of Maharashtra, India. It is made up of two of the state's six administrative divisions: Amravati and Nagpur. Within these divisions are 11 districts: Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gondiya, Nagpur, and Wardha within Nagpur and Amravati, Akola, Buldana, Washim, and Yavatmal within Amravati division.


As of 2011, the population for each of the region's districts was as follows:[1]

  • Amravati: 2,887,826
  • Akola: 1,818,617
  • Bhandara: 1,198,810
  • Buldana: 2,588,039
  • Chandrapur: 2,194,262
  • Gadchiroli: 1,071,795
  • Gondiya: 1,322,331
  • Nagpur: 4,653,171
  • Wardha: 1,296,157
  • Washim: 1,196,714
  • Yavatmal: 2,775,457
  • Total: 23,003,179

The region holds 20.5% of the state's total population as of 2011.[2] Literacy in Vidharbha is 84.3% among males, 77.8% among females. (This compares to rates of 82.14% for males and 65.46% for females across India, and 89.82% for males, 75.48% for females in the state of Maharashtra as a whole.)[3] The population density of the region was 236 people per km2, ranging from 74 people per km2 in the district of Gadchiroli to 470 people per km2 in the district of Nagpur.

Farmer Suicides

"It is in the state of Maharashtra that the problem is particularly acute and distressing. Over the ten years between 1997 and 2006 the number of farm suicides in this state more than doubled, from 1917 to 4453. This gives an annual compound growth rate of an exceedingly high figure of 9.8 per cent for farm suicides here, a rate at which the number would double every 7-8 years. Considering the period 1997-2006 as a whole, every fifth farm suicide committed in the country during this period occurred in Maharashtra; for the latest year, i.e., 2006 this figure is every more stark: every fourth farm suicide in the country occurred here in that year."[4]

Although there is no district-level data available, available evidence, "particularly from an alert socially conscious print media in the country," points to "certain pockets within each of these states... where farm suicides are concentrated and where the problem would be very, very acute. The Vidarbha region in Maharashtra, Deccan and Hyderabad Karnataka regions in Karnataka, Telangana and Rayalaseema regions in Andhra Pradesh seem to be the ones – along with Wayanad in Kerala – have received a great deal of attention and coverage by the press on this issue... Now these sub-regions within these states – i.e., Vidharbha, Deccan and Hyderabad Karnataka, Telangana and Rayalaseema and Chhattisgarh – in fact do constitute a contiguous region in the heartland of India as it were." The area is a "semi-arid, poor, backward region in the heartland of India" and it appears that this is likely where the farm suicide issue is most severe.

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