Odisha: Brief Profile

Odisha, located in the eastern coast of India is a state with immense potential in natural resources owing to its fertile land and rich mineral resources like coal, iron and bauxite. The state is touched by the Bay of Bengal in the east; Chhatisgarh in the west and Andhra Pradesh in the south. It has an area of 155,707 square kms. And a coast line of about 500 kms. The State comprises of 3 revenue divisions, 30 districts, 314 blocks, 6234 gram panchayats and 51,349 villages. Nearly 85% of its population live in the rural areas depending mostly on agriculture and allied activities for their livelihood. However, with more than 45% of its population living below the poverty line, Odisha presents a paradox when we compare its natural, mineral and human resources with its socio-economic and political status.

Naturally, this also reflects on the status of women in Odisha. Even as historical accounts reveal that women in Odisha enjoyed a relatively better status than others in the country in terms of holding and transaction of property, succession rights to governance and a non-repressive socio-religious milieu, this unfortunately eroded over time culminating into their present dismal state. The present scenario can be further explained when we look at some of the ground realities affecting women in Odisha.

Other Statistics on Odisha:

State Capital: Bhubaneswar

Districts – 30
Sub Divisions- 58
Tehsils – 171
Development Blocks – 314

Population: 36,706,902 (3.6 crores-as per 2001 census);

Males: 18,612,340; Females: 18,094, 580

Scheduled Castes: 51.29 lakh; Scheduled Tribes: 70.32 lakh

People living Below Poverty Line: 45.03

Total Literacy: 64.0% (as per 2001 census)

Male: 75.95%; Female: 50.97%
Scheduled Caste Literacy Rate: 36.8%
Scheduled Tribe Literacy Rate: 22.3%

Landmass: 4.7% of India’s landmass
Density of Population: 236 per sq.km (2001 census)
Male-Female Ratio: 1000:972;

Infant Mortality Rate: 87/1000 (Total); Rural: 90/1000; Urban: 56/1000.

Maternal Mortality Rate: Rural: 619 per 1 lakh live births; Total: 367;

Population Growth During: (1991-01) – 16.51%
Urban Population as % of Total Population: 14.97% [2001 census]
Rural Population as % of Total Population : 85.03%[2001 census]

Total Fertility Rate: 2.46

Cultivable Land:79 Lakh hectares; Irrigated Land: 30%; Non Irrigated Land: 70%
Forest Land: 58, 13,547 sq.kms;  Percentage of Forestland to total land: 37%

[ Source: Odishagov.nic.in; Gender Indicators of Odisha; by School of Women’s Studies, Utkal University, Odisha;]


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