Location of Sukma district in Chhattisgarh
|• Total||494,111 km2 (190,777 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
Sukma district is the newly formed, southernmost district in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. It is located in Bastar. The Sukma district borders with Odisha (Malkangiri district) , Andhra Pradesh (East Godavari District) and Telangana (Khammam District).
Located in the southern tip of the state of Chhattisgarh, District Sukma is a symbol of diverse types of disparities. The district was carved out of Dantewada in the year 2012. It is covered with the semi-tropical forest and is a mainland of tribal community Gond; The district has more than 85% of its population as STs, 65% of its area is covered with the forest and an extremely low population density of merely 45 persons per sq. km. It also has one of the lowest literacy rates in India, 29%. One major river that flows through the district is Sabari and the district receives decent rainfalls in the monsoon season.
These statistical figures make it easy to understand the fact that the district has remained secluded from the outside influence for decades. The tribal communities which form the dominant portion of the population have remained unexposed to the globalized world due to the lack of essential logistics and communication facilities. Tribal population of this region were almost destined to limit their means of earnings to the collection of non-timber minor forest produce and rain-dependent agriculture and have been leading a life for generations much below the standards of the other parts of the nation. Over a few decades, this region has become a fostering ground for LWE activities. Uneven terrains and the tricky geographic locations made this region a safer hideout for the LWE activists. Submissive nature of the innocent tribal further fortified their hold. Acting on gunpoint and fearing for their lives, tribals of Sukma are even taking the silent or active part in LWE activities mostly out of coercion. In such a scenario community mobilization for rural development becomes a tough challenge. It is of utmost importance to take along the tribal community in their own development process and ensure that they are not alienated anymore.
Apart from the inaccessibility, lack of quality and quantity of the human resource is a big challenge. This often makes the system handicapped in monitoring and supervising government programmes and schemes in an efficient way. Circumstances become further grave when the ground level functionaries are not capacitated enough.
To bring in holistic development in the aspirational district of Sukma by getting the people out of poverty and by providing them all basic facilities for leading a life with dignity thus improving the quality of life
The district is one of the least developed districts of India. The district is severely affected by Naxalism or Maoism. Males constitute 66% of the population and females 34%. The district is one of the most illiterate districts of the Nation District has a literacy rate of only 31%, much lower than the national average of 59.5%. 20% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Sukma District is the southern part of Bastar and it is newly formed on 16th January 2012. It is a Sub-Tehsil in 1952 under Bastar region, later upgraded to Tehsil in 1956, After Konta Tehsil is formed in 1960 SDO office Konta at headquarter Sukma started in 1976. When Dantewada is divided from Bastar in 1998 Sukma came under Dantewada District. Sukma got its existence as a new district in the year 2012. This is the LWE affected district which is far from Development. Sukma 400 km away from state capital Raipur, well connected by NH-30. It is sharing the border with Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states and districts Bastar, Bijapur and Dantewada.
Emergence of SukmaEdit
Located in the southern tip of the State, District Sukma is a symbol of different types of disparities. State Government decided Sukma as a District with an intension of providing a momentum to the developmental activities by removing all the hindrances and problems that are being experienced in this area.Lots of relics and remnants that are found in this area justifies the claims that Lord Shri Ram had gone through this area during his Exile in the period of Ramayana. As a living proof the lifeline of this land River Shabari too have a stunning resemblance with the devoted old lady of Ramayana times who had offered Lord Rama berries (The Indian Jujube) after tasting them herself to confirm their perfection.
This land known as Dandakaranya from the ancient times is a habitat for different types of Tribal communities. Tribes residing here had no exposure to the outer world, they used to feed themselves on the abundance of forest produces and by hunting the animal in the forest, they used to live a happy and most contained life.
Sukma has come into existence approximately in the year 1300. The predecessors of the Jameendars of Sukma who worked in this area under the kingship of the erstwhile Maharaja of Bastar were originated from Rajasthan. They have fled from Rajasthan to the kingdom of Warangal of Andhra Pradesh to avoid the atrocities they were subjected to during the reign of Mughals in Rajasthan. They have re-established themselves here and started leading their life however the curse of bad time did not stop worrying them even here, they were very often subjected to the highhandedness of the Maratha Rajas and Peshwas who used to impose different Taxes and Punishments. To avoid these atrocities the predecessors of the Jameendars have reached around Sukma through Bheji passing different forest areas and have started searching for a shelter to themselves. Among this group one family consisting of a father, mother and their boy had tried to cross the river Shabri to reach the other bank of the river but when they were in the middle of the river their boat had struck in the whirlpool of the river and an angel had appeared in front of them and had asked them to sacrifice one among them so as to ensure the safety of the remaining two. The father had readily accepted to offer himself in sacrifice but his boy contested and said that as you both are healthy you can still have children and hence let me sacrifice myself saying that the boy had jumped into the river. The place where the boy had jumped into the river is still known as Muniputta, which appears like an island in the middle of river at village Telavarti. At this place wooden cheppal and the trident are visible. Devotees reach this place in scores of numbers during Shivratri and Makar Sankranti and perform Puja. It is believed that this island had never so far submerged in the river in any of the floods and it is also believed that if this island gets submerged in the river then there would be a big havoc. These couple settled at Mahadev Dongri for a brief period but due to threat from the wild animal they came and settled nearby Shabari river later. Mahadev Dongri is located at 3 Kms distance from Sukma and one ancient Shiva temple is located in this village which is believed to be installed by these couple. Lot of festivity can still be seen at this place during the Shivratri.
Later on these couple have settled down at the present day’s Rajwada area of Sukma, they felt very comfortable in this place. Even though they were living in the absence of necessary facilities such as education and comforts amidst the tribes they started feeling this area very comfortable far from the atrocities of Mughals and the Marathas thus they named this place as Sukma. It is also believed that the deity of the famous temple of Chitpitin Mata located at village Ramaram is also brought by these couple along with them and that the temple had been constructed by these couple. Even today when the Pujari chants during sacrifice at this temple certain words are revered which indicate that the deity is brought from Warangal. In due course of time Sukma had seen many changes and transformation into one among the new Districts is one among them.
Health has been a focal sector for the district administration in the past few years . Some proactive measures adopted by the Government have helped in filling the vacant para medical staff, doctors and specialist doctors posts considerably. Further to this improvising the health institutions through providing modern equipment, labs and other essential facilities is paying good dividends. Government hospitals are the only source of medical care in the district, hence fine tuning the health services is essential, which is being done relentlessly.
District is very much under developed in the area of Education. Main reason of this underdevelopment can be attributed to the disparity and lack of standard education in the schools. There is a greater amount of scarcity of specialized teachers at higher schooling levels such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and English. Even though recruitment’s are done teachers tends to go other places as soon as they get offers outside.
Keeping in view of this aspect it is necessary to open Ashram Shalas (residential schools) in such well connected villages where children of nearby 4 to 5 remote and unconnected villages can be educated. POTA Cabin Ashrams are mainly conducted for the dropout students. Thus the arrangement of Ashrams for the regular students will be of useful.
How to ReachEdit
Air : Buses are running daily between Sukma and state capital Raipur. Sukma has road connectivity to Raipur, Jagdalpur, Dantewada, Malkangiri, Hyderabad and Vijayawada. Interstate bus services are available daily to Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Rajahmundry. National Highway NH-30 passing through Sukma district, ensures smooth travel on road to Raipur and Hyderabad.
Rail : Dantewada and Jagdalpur railway stations are nearest railway stations to Sukma. Bus services are available to reach Sukma form Dantewada and Jagdalpur.
Road : Jagdalpur airport is the nearest airport, It is 100 Km away from Sukma. Jagdalpur airport started its operation to Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam. Rajahmundry Airport is the second nearest airport, located at a distance of 200 km from Sukma. Interstate bus services available to reach Sukma from Rajahmundry.
Places of InterestEdit
Sukma District is part of Bastar, many outsiders used to visit here to study the Bastar Culture and tribal life of Adivasis. It is a place of rich Traditional Culture and people with innocence who are living Forest as their life.
1. Dudma tourist spot: Dudma Tourist Places is one of the most visited places near Sukma. It attracts tourism with its natural beauty and sights. Located around 28 KMs from District Head Quarter Sukma
2. Tungal Dam: The citizens of the district have been dependent on entertainment or tourism in other districts or neighbouring places of tourist places. Government decided to develop this bandh as eco-tourism center. It is located around 3 KMs from District Head Quarter Sukma, In this eco-tourism centre construction of basic infrastructures like motorboat, paddle boat arrangement, access road and hut site was constructed by the district administration and forest department. On October 2, 2015, the inauguration of Tugan Dam Eco Tourism Center was inaugurated by the Forest Minister of the state. Various activities in this eco-tourism centre were motivated to motivate the youth of the nearby village Tugal for the operation of motor operators, naka operations, maintenance of emu birds etc. In which 21 young people agreed, the Forest Department registered the group under self-help group Mutantonda Forest Range Sukma.
3. Dornapal bridge: Located around 37 KMs from District HQ Sukma. It is a crucial connectivity bridge between LWE affected area of Sukma in Chhattisgarh and Odisha State. Before this bridge construction, people have to travel 140 KMs to go to Odisha, Now it takes only 3 KMs.
Culture & HeritageEdit
It would not be fair if the historical heritage of this area is not highlighted on the eve of the formation of the New District. Injeram is a village located around 70 KMs from Sukma towards Konta which comes 10 KMs before Konta on the National Highway. According to popular belief, Rishi Inji’s ashram was located in this village during the Ramayana period. “Inje Ram Vathod” means Ram had came here in local language because of which this place is known as Injeram, it is another popular believe. Just 100 Meters to the right side from the main road we can still see ruins of many ancient sculptures of different deities.
This place can easily be a matter of research for the Archaeological department as there exists rare ancient sculptures in this area, one can see a sculpture on which Brahma,Vishnu and Mahesh the Trinity of Hindu faith can be seen on a single stone. Now with the elevation of this area into a new District people are hopeful that Archaeological department will start researching in this area and unveil the historical importance of the land to the outer world.
Dudma Tourist SpotsEdit
Dudma Tourist Places is one of the most visited places near Sukma. It attracts tourism with its natural beauty and sights. Located around 28 KMs from District Head Quarter Sukma
The citizens of the district have been dependent on entertainment or tourism in other districts or neighbouring places of tourist places. Government decided to develop this bandh as eco-tourism center. It is located around 3 KMs from District Head Quarter Sukma, In this eco-tourism centre construction of basic infrastructures like motorboat, paddle boat arrangement, access road and hut site was constructed by the district administration and forest department. On October 2, 2015, the inauguration of Tugan Dam Eco Tourism Center was inaugurated by the Forest Minister of the state. Various activities in this eco-tourism centre were motivated to motivate the youth of the nearby village Tugal for the operation of motor operators, naka operations, maintenance of emu birds etc. In which 21 young people agreed, the Forest Department registered the group under self-help group Mutantonda Forest Range Sukma.
Located around 37 KMs from District HQ Sukma. It is a crucial connectivity bridge between LWE affected area of Sukma in Chhattisgarh and Odisha State. Before this bridge construction, people have to travel 140 KMs to go to Odisha, Now it takes only 3 KMs.
There isn't any railway station nearby. Road conditions are very poor, Roads here are one of the poorly developed roads of India. Sukma town is connected to Jagdalpur by National Highway 221 (New NH-30) and Chintoor in Andhra Pradesh state.