CRPF to offer tuition to tribal students in Bengal | india | Hindustan Times
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CRPF to offer tuition to tribal students in Bengal

The hand that wields the gun also imparts school lessons. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), engaged in combating the Maoists in West Midnapore,

india Updated: Jun 17, 2011 12:13 IST
Koushik Dutta

The hand that wields the gun also imparts school lessons. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), engaged in combating the Maoists in West Midnapore, is planning to impart tuitions to tribal students who stay in hostels in these rebel-dominated areas of West Bengal.

“Our jawans, who can speak the local language, would teach the students in their free time. In this manner we can help the students in their studies, and instill confidence among the locals,” Shankarlal Sengupta, commandant of 50 battalion of CRPF told HT.

Students between class five to 10 would be taught by the securitymen.

There are about 10 hostels in the area with a total student population of around 200, almost all of whom are tribals. Hostels with tribal students are located in areas like Moupal, Patharkumkumi, Lalgarh, Kantapahari that lie about 150 km to the west of Kolkata.

“These programmes would benefit students and common people. The situation is becoming normal here. The atmosphere for normal studies for students is also coming back,” said Prasun Kumar Paria, headmaster of Moupal Deshpran Vidyalaya.

On Thursday, battalion 50 of CRPF started a civic action programme at Pathakumkumi, under Salboni police station, an area where Maoist rebels were active. CRPF personnel distributed school bags, cycles for the poor but meritorious students, volley balls, nets, jersey and sarees.

A similar programme would be held on Saturday at Pirakata in the same police station area.

In 2010 too CRPF undertook public relations exercise and win the confidence of locals. They distributed blankets, sewing machines, TV sets, carom boards, footballs, bags, educations and sports materials. Medical camps were organised by the CRPF in different villages in Salboni, Lalgarh, Belpahari and other places in the Jangalmahal area.

However, offering tuitions is a completely novel way of confidence building measure in the area.

About 300 people have lost their lives in Maoist violence over the past two years in West Midnapore alone.

“The local people had already understood that we are their friend. During the financial year, we will get about Rs 13 lakh for the civic action programmes,” said Sengupta.

CRPF is also planning some income generating exercise. “We may train some people for works like pisciculture and mushroom plantations. Seeing this other villages may be inspired and come forward. But this plan is in the pipe line now,” a senior CRPF official said.