Area Of Operation

Since formation, DBMGF is implementing its ‘Change India Programme’ in Dhule district of Maharashtra. The district has greater connectivity as it is strategically placed at the crossing of three National Highways namely NH-6 (Surat-Nagpur), NH-3 (Mumbai-Agra) and NH-211 (Dhule – Solapur). It is surrounded by Madhya Pradesh from the north, Nandurbar district from Gujarat State in the west, Nasik district from the south and Jalgaon district from the east. Located in North Maharashtra the district of Dhule is falls between 28.38 degree to 21.61 degree north latitude and 73.50 degree 75.11 degree east latitude. It has an undulated topography at a height of 182 to 215 metre from the sea level. Relatively smaller in size with an area of 8063 sq. km, the district has four blocks viz. Dhule, Sakri, Shirpur and Shindkheda.
Dhule falls under drought prone area. Average annual rainfall of the district is 592 mm and the climate is hot and dry. It is in upper Tapi basin, covering 733 thousand hectares, which is roughly 2.4% of the state area. A small area in the northern part of this district also falls within the Narmada drainage system. An important plus point of this district is that it has as many as 6 dams with 55278.4 sq. km. of catchment area.
The economy of the district is dependent upon agriculture. Nearly 70% of the families in the district are still small and marginal farmers. Majority of the farmers practice rain fed agriculture. Besides the main staple food crops of Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Wheat and Groundnut, cash crops like Cotton and Sugarcane are grown in the district. Horticultural crops in the area mainly include Ber, Guava, Pomegranate, Custard Apple and Mango.


District Map Of Dhule :

According to the 2011 census Dhule district has a population of 2,048,781. The district has a population density of 285 inhabitants per square kilometre. Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 19.96%. Dhule has a sex ratio of 941 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 74.61%. Languages spoken include Ahirani, a Kandeshi tongue with approximately 780000 speakers, similar to Marathi and Bhili.

DBMGF has purposefully chosen Dhule District of Maharashtra, since it is one of the poorest districts in the country, with very high incidence of poverty and high disparity in each category of social indicators. In terms of Human Development Index (HDI), Dhule is placedat the bottom among the districts in Maharashtra. Quite a few examples can be cited in this context. Theproportion of BPL population in Dhule is 53.64%, which is the third lowest in the state. Its infant mortality rate is 73 per 1000. It has the highest percentage of girls married below the age of 18 (63.7%) and high drop-out rate at 7th standard (45%, the fourth highest in the state), whereas the lowest school attendance rate for the age group up to 14 years (45.18%). The proportion of literates in Dhule is the 5th lowest in the state, while a high percentage of its population live in kuchha (i.e., non-concrete) houses (24.26%, the 3rd highest in the state). A very low percentage of households in the district of Dhule have toilet facility at home (10.88%, the 4th lowest in the state)
Despite its backwardness, Dhule district has, however, has some leverages, which makes it an ideal choice for the ‘Change India Programme’. Some key leverages of the districtinclude:

  • Three national highways are passing through this district with coverage of approximately 245 kms that gives Dhule a strategic leverage due to road connectivity.
  • It is also strategically located, being surrounded by the two states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, with proximity to major markets like Nasik, Surat, Mumbai and Pune, thus providing an excellent opportunity not only for agricultural produce, but also for possible non-farm products of the district.
  • Dhule possess the potential to become a green energy hub to achieve combined use of wind power, solar power and thermal power.
  • The district has a fairly good infrastructure in terms PHCs and CHCs which can be optimally used through MMUs to serve under-served rural areas as done by DBMGF.
  • Ample water available in the district from the major river basin of Tapi as well as from the six dams of the district. However, there is also enormous potential for efficient and effective water resource management.
    Thus, the backwardness as well as the potential to rise from it led to the self-selection of Dhule district for Change India Project (CIP), aimed at evolving model of expedited development for the districts that are lagging behind and dragging the growth rate of rural India.