Sanjo Parte has cooked bottle gourd curry and rice for lunch today. 27-year-old Sanjo hands a bowl of rice-curry to her daughter as she covers her son with a mosquito net. He is a few months old and Sanjo uses the net to protect him from flies and mosquitoes, who are in abundance in her house and around. “This is how it is during the monsoon. It’s muddy all around and the flies just won’t leave us alone,” Parte says. “I had cooked masoor dal (lentil) yesterday,” she adds.
We sat in Sanjo’s mud house in Dhamanpani village of block Mohgaon in Mandala district in Madhya Pradesh, which is being restored because one of its walls fell due to a heavy storm, few days back.
Madhya Pradesh has a significant tribal population, which constitutes more than one-fourth of its total population and 14.7 percent of India’s total tribal population. Out of the total population of MP, about 72.4% live in rural areas. According to the Tendulkar Committee Report 2009, nearly 48.6% of the population is estimated as living Below Poverty Line (BPL) with rural poverty ratio.