Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Tribal youths from Naxal-affected areas of the country have said that it is not Naxalism but lack of basic facilities like education, health care, roads, transport, water, electricity and unemployment that are major problems for them.
About 200 boys and girls from 10 Naxal-hit districts in Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana, Maharashtra and Odisha are in the city to take part in National Tribal Youth Exchange Programme. Organised jointly by Nehru Yuva Kendra and Union Ministry for Home Affairs, the 7-day event is meant to introduce them to other parts of the country. Escorted by personnel from the Central Armed Police Forces, they are staying in premises of WALMI.
Amarjeet Kumar from Gaya district, Bihar, told Free Press, “People in my village – Paraschuana - on Bihar-Jharkhand border, cannot step out of their houses after 9 pm.” Amarjeet is preparing for JEE and wants to become a computer engineer. “Roads are poor, means of transport are unavailable and unemployment is growing in the area. Youths have no work to do,” he added.
A BA student Brundabati Nag from a village in Kalahandi district in Odisha said that her college was 90 km away from her village. “I am staying at a hostel in the town,” said Brundabati who wants to become a politician.
Amisha Prabhakar from Gadchiroli in Maharashtra said, “There are no schools, hospitals and good roads in my area. Power supply is often disrupted and villagers have to fetch water from a distance.”
Sonia Madkam from Telangana who gave up studies after class 10 now works in fields with her parents. According to Sonia, they have to do without electricity for weeks during rainy season.
Coming from a village in Latehar district of Jharkhand, Chandan Kumar is all praise for PM Narendra Modi. “Jab se Modiji aaye hain, Naxalvad khatm ho gaya hai,” he said. He has no interest in studies and is running a chicken and fish shop.
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