India’s 29th State

In early June, the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh split in two. The new state – Telangana – broke away because of the region’s long-standing dissatisfaction with the Andhra Pradesh government. For years, separation protests broke out because residents have felt neglected. The state remains one of India’s most underdeveloped, but there is hope that the new independence will help reduce some of the poverty that plague’s the region.

The village that thisvillage is working with, Bandanpally, is in Telangana.

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The new state of Telangana

Some quick information:

  • The state is India’s 29th.
  • Telangana has a population comparable to Canada – approximately 35 million – in an area the size of Arizona.
  • Most people speak Telugu.
  • The state is one of India’s poorest.
  • There campaign for Telangana’s separate status has been going on for 50 years.
  • A massive revolt took place in the region in 1969, where 400 people died in a government crackdown.
  • The movement for separate status has been fueled largely by the region’s underdevelopment. Locals felt as the though the allocation of Andhra Pradesh’s resources, including water, education funding, jobs, etc., were not fairly distributed to the Telangan region.
  • Hyderabad will remain the joint capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for the next 10 years. Following that time, it is expected that Telangana will develop a new capital.

So what does this all mean? In short, it’s hard to say. The Telangana government will now get to distribute all of its resources as equitably as it wants; however, there is not that much to distribute. The state is very poor and the government will struggle to meet the demands of the many poor and hopeful residents. In the long-term, however, Telangana will no longer lose some of its resources and funding to the wealthier Andhra Pradesh. The new state is, at the very least, a big win for democracy, as residents of Telangana will have a much greater voice in the direction of their government.

thisvillage will continue to do what we can to help the village of Bandanpally. When we visited the region, we saw firsthand the poverty, but also the potential. Every donation will help provide Bandanpally with water, toilets, literacy training, and other needs.

— Graeme Esau

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