ERJ staff report (BC)
New Delhi – Taking a cue from the India’s North East state, where the state and central governments have successfully funded various agriculture and horticulture projects to transform militants, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is planning a similar initiative in the states regarded as worst affected by “left wing extremism”. The aim is to help Maoists surrender their arms and earn their livelihood. So reports Sandeep Joshi of The Hindu.
Following field trials by the Indian Rubber Board, the MHA in association with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has devised a plan for “massive” rubber plantations in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The MHA is reported to be currently finalising the amount of grant that the ambitious project would require.
Noting how rubber cultivation has been successful in rehabilitating militants in Tripura and Assam, a senior MHA official said: “Though operations by security forces are going on against Maoists, we feel that giving better livelihood opportunities to Naxals in their [local areas] would help them shun violence and lead a normal life. The scheme would be on the lines of the Udaan employment generation scheme for youths in Jammu and Kashmir that is being funded by the MHA.”
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Original story from The Hindu