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The condition of Eastern Uttar Pradesh in the changing scenario of India
Political map of U.P.
Status of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, India
The low per capita income in the state camouflages the glaring inequality between different regions. While a number of districts in some areas of Uttar Pradesh are witnessing development, the eastern belt remains one of the most backward areas of the country. Eastern UP comprises of 30 districts, the major ones among which are Faizabad, Basti, Allahabad, Bhadohi, Ghazipur, Ballia, Mau, Ambedkar Nagar, Sultanpur, Barabanki, Deoria, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Jaunpur, Azamgarh etc.
The western region of the state is relatively more prosperous as compared with the other regions, while Eastern region is the poorest, central region and Bundelkhand falling in the middle category. This is amply demonstrated by statistics and development indicators as well. 8 districts out of 10 that fare lowest on the Human Development Index of the state fall in eastern U.P. But the inequality is glaring in this region as well, with certain urban centres like Allahabad, Varanasi and Gorakhpur showing much more prosperity than the other districts.
Though cities like Allahabad and Varanasi were reputed as cultural and educational centres, they lost out in the education boom in the country, when institutions providing more exposure opened up all across the country. The problem of unemployed educated youth is a big issue being faced by these districts.
While the western region of the state benefitted from the industrialization of the country after independence, eastern U.P. lagged behind in terms of industrial infrastructure. While western U.P. gained from its exposure to Delhi and became more developed, the eastern districts were influenced by neighbouring Bihar and did not develop as expected.
The region has a number of religious and cultural centres to boast of. The ancient city of Ayodhya, which is famed as the birthplace of Lord Rama, a highly revered deity for Hindus, is part of the Faizabad district. Ayodhya, famous for its temples, has been much in the news over the last two decades. The small temple town became the reason for rising communal forces in U.P. and all over the country. Hindu fundamentalist forces capitalized on national obsession about the creation of a temple for Lord Rama and led to historical changes in the political and social framework of the way the state functioned.
Caste based politics is another serious issue here. When a politician from a certain caste comes into power, all developmental focus shifts to that particular caste and the other marginalized and vulnerable sections of society are ignored.
Another problem faced by eastern U.P. is that of migration. Because of a complete lack of economic opportunity and bad agricultural infrastructure, a huge part of the population prefers to migrate to urban centers to earn money. A large number of laborers from U.P. working in cities like Delhi and Mumbai hail from the eastern region of the state.
Literacy levels in this region are higher than some of the neighbouring districts, but still leave much to be desired. Districts like Basti and Faizabad are still struggling with a literacy level below 70%.
The dismal economic development of the region can be noted on the graph depicting region wise Net per capita Domestic product in U.P.
Though the situation leaves much to be desired right now, if the people of Eastern U.P. tap into the huge economic, social and natural resources of the region, true, holistic development will no longer remain a faraway dream.