The region of Vidarbha is situated in northeastern Maharashtra, India’s third largest state. Vidarbha consists of two divisions: Nagpur, a growing industrial center, and Amravati, whose cotton mills supply Bombay, Calcutta, and other major Indian cities with cotton. Nagpur consists of six districts (Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gondia, Nagpur, and Wardha) and Amravati has five districts (Akola, Amravati, Buldhana, Washim, and Yavatmal).
While Vidarbha is poorly served by roads, educational institutions and government infrastructure, it prides itself on the fertile green hills and vast forests that make up its diverse landscape. Cotton, oranges, and soybeans are the region’s major cash crops. Throughout history, Vidarbha has struggled to attract investment and development funds compared to its neighboring regions. Still, India produces 31 percent of the world’s organic cotton and Maharashtra is among the three largest producers of the crop, after Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. The 20 million residents of Vidarbha speak Marathi, Hindi, Komti, Gondi and Telegu, according to the 2001 Census.