In a bid to reach out to the tribal population and contain the naxal menace in Gadchiroli district, the Maharashtra government has launched an ambitious livelihood mission which focuses on providing jobs, strengthening physical infrastructure and helping locals to get remunerative prices for their agriculture produce.
The minister of state for home (rural), Deepak Kesarkar, told DNA, “The livelihood mission aims to increase the household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial and public services. The tribals are largely engaged in paddy farming who will be provided training to increase productivity, provide godowns to store their produce and also ensure the remunerative price. For other agri produce, the post-harvest chain is being developed so that they can tap various markets and earn more.”
Further, the tribals are also provided solar agricultural pumps.
This apart, Kesarkar said adequate attention is being paid on further strengthening the road and communication network in the rural areas. “Already, two bridges were completed and a third is being proposed. The union government has also agreed to step in for the completion of bridge in association with the state. Attention is also paid on the implementation of irrigation projects and thereby increase the irrigation potential there,” he noted.
The Livelihood Mission also aims to create jobs for tribals especially by providing skill development training. “There is a large scope for self-employment too at block, taluka and district level by imparting training at the government-run institutions. The government hopes that the implementation of several programmes for skill development, self-employment, wage employment and creation of assets will help promote inclusive growth,” the minister said.
Furthermore, the state government has extended the surrender policy for naxals up to 2020. “As per the policy, hefty compensation is given to those surrender depending on the rank and seniority of the naxal. The compensation will be anywhere between few lakh and Rs 1 crore,” Kesarkar said. He informed that the surrendered naxals are provided land and job.
The home department officer informed that more than 600 naxals have surrendered themselves to the local police in last 10 years. According to the minister, the government is laying emphasis on the deployment of state of the art modern equipment including mine detection radars and anti-mining trucks.