Rs 100 cr to wean away rural youth from Maoism

Skill development projects to instil confidence

In a bid to dissuade rural youths from joining the left-wing extremists, the Centre has launched a Rs 100-crore scheme to impart skill development training to 50,000 young men and women by 2015-16 and find them suitable employment.

The Ministry of Rural Development will launch the scheme in 24 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The move comes close on the heels of the Maoist insurgents attacking a Congress convoy at Darbha valley in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on May 25. Twenty-eight people were killed in the incident, including top Congress leaders like Mahendra Karma, Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh and Uday Mudliyar. Veteran Congress leader and former Union minister Vidya Charan Shukla was injured in the attack.

Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister for Rural Development, said the new scheme, “Roshni,” would target school dropouts aged between 18 and 35. “The Maoists are these days recruiting young men and women. Our scheme is intended to give them a constructive alternative to joining an extremist organisation,” said Ramesh, adding that the government would reserve 50 per cent of the training slots under the scheme for the women.

The government has already launched a prelude to the scheme in Sukma and West Singhbhum in Jharkhand. Ramesh said 216 youths from Sukma were trained and 153 of them found employment in Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. Of the 340 youths trained in West Singhbhum, 230 got jobs. He also said some of the rural youths from Below Poverty Line families in Sukma got jobs in the garment industry in Bangalore, while others got entry-level employment in retail and healthcare sectors elsewhere in the country.
About 90 young women from Manoharpur block in West Singbhum district are undergoing nursing training in Jamshedpur and are expected to be placed suitably in healthcare units across the country.

Ramesh said the projects would be funded jointly by the Centre and the state governments in the ratio of 75:25. National level agencies would be appointed to monitor and coordinate the implementation.

“Training will be imparted through public-private and public-public partnerships. Educational institutions, corporate entities, entities that train and place for improved public service delivery, commercial and not for profit training providers will be roped in for the scheme,” said Ramesh.

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