September 14, 2011
Bengal model in limelight, Centre to overcome Maoist insurgency with developmental packages
The Centre decided to rehabilitate Maoists. It was Paschimbanga Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee who initially suggested the module and carried the same in her state. Ms. Banerjee had always maintained that these separatists will get back to mainstream only when they are given livelihood.
On Tuesday the Centre announced series of packages to bring the Maoists back to the mainstream. The module to allure the Maoists to bring back to the mainstream was initially worked out by Ms. Banerjee who said that to resolve the issue it was essential that these people should sit for a negotiation with the government and this will be only possible when the Maoists will be assured that if they come back to mainstream then they will be rehabilitated. Ms. Banerjee took the crusade ahead with her much talked visit to the backward districts of Jangalmahal. The Centre expressed its willingness to bring the separatists back to mainstream and plans to recruit three young professionals in every Maoist-affected district who would be attached to the collector. The separatist men and women in the 25-30 age-group under the `Prime Minister's Rural Development Fellows` will need to have postgraduate qualifications in fields such as management, engineering, development studies or social sciences to be eligible.
Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh said development work in the affected districts must be in tune with the "felt needs" of the people and their perceptions must be integrated into all processes of development. According to the Minister the Centre will fund the scheme through the Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology, which assists more than 12,000 voluntary organizations in implementing development activities across the country.
The scheme will generate great opportunity for those who are educated and willing to work with the administration in these Maoists affected backward and tribal districts, as the will get a remuneration of 60,000 per month. However, the Prime Minister said that the development and rehabilitation was very important as unless these are people are given an opportunity to join the mainstream, the issue will not be resolved and no amount of development funds are adequate in making a difference in the development status of people, “until and unless we win the trust of the people and inculcate a sense of ownership over the development process”. An additional 30 crore will be provided to each district under the plan.
It was Ms. Banerjee who with her council of ministers had worked upon the packages which she announced during her visit to lure these separatists and welcome them back to the mainstream. She announced various financial packages and assured the Maoists that if they give up violence then the state government will take care of their livelihood. Ms. Banerjee reiterated her stand to explore avenues for their employment. Ms. Banerjee announced a series of socio-economic packages for the affected belt, including bringing tribal and non-tribal populations in the area under special food security scheme, is expected to renew her assurance to extremists-influenced tribals and non-tribals to come forward for economic development.