Is Vidarbha. In Vidarbha is Sevagram – a sleepy little village that proved to be a game changer for all of us. This was the place where we shed the last vestiges of carefree childhood whilst growing into equally carefree albeit responsible young adults- eagerly waiting to take our place in the world generally and to make our mark in the wider medical world.
Vidarbha region, located in Central Maharashtra, is predominantly agrarian by occupation and consists of 11 districts (largely low rainfall areas). Major crops are cotton, jowar (Sorghum), and pulses with farmers relying on rain fed farming. Irrigated farming is only seen where major rivers provide water for the whole year. Vidarbha is home to two-thirds of the state's mineral resources and three-quarters of its forest resources . Yet, endemic widespread poverty and malnutrition repeatedly test the resilience and fighting spirit of the brave vidarbhans. A recent newspaper article quoted 168 farmer suicides in Q1 of 2013 , defining many decades of agrarian crisis in the region. In 2011, about 14,000 farmers committed suicide. A NCRB report stated that in the 17 years from 1995 to 2011, 270,940 farmers committed suicide in the country - nearly a quarter of these were from the state of Maharashtra (53,818 reported suicides). Yet another report from the Bureau said that while the number of farm suicides rose since 2001, the number of farmers has fallen, as thousands, in distress, turn their back to agriculture.