Maharashtra: Police, admn, NGO join hands to help secure jobs for local youth in Gadchiroli

Aim to keep youngsters away from 'Naxal influence'.

BEING A district with no job opportunities for local youth, Gadchiroli district administration and police are working with an NGO and some recruiting agencies to help them secure jobs outside the district.

From 2012-13, 3,962 youths from Gadchiroli have secured jobs across India through the joint effort of district and police administration and NGO Pratham.

Gadchiroli police alone has helped youths secure 1,477 jobs through their own Rojgar Melawa app and vocational training programme. Apart from Pratham helping with training and recruitment, police have also independently tied up with other recruiting agencies for placements.

The employment trades range from automotive and healthcare to hospitality and construction. While majority of these jobs, about 2,400, have been provided within the state, youths have come forward to take up jobs in states like Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, as per information provided by Pratham.

When it comes to age, jobs have been secured by those aged between 18 and 30. Maximum number of jobs, around 3,000, have been secured by those in the age group of 18 to 24. This is the age group that Naxals target for recruitment into the movement.

Pratham figures show that the average of monthly salary has ranged from Rs 5,825 in the automotive sector to Rs 12,768 for a welding job. Maximum number of youths prefer jobs in hospitality, where approximately 1,300 have been employed followed by about 1,200 in healthcare, 400 in automotive, 355 in construction and 335 in electrical works. The police drive has recorded 319 locals being placed as security guards.

According to Gadchiroli police, only 29 boys and 44 girls could be recruited by Naxals from 2013 to date.

During 2001-10, Naxal recruitment was several times more than in 2011-20. Highest numbers were recorded during 2001-04, which were the formative years of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA). During these years, anywhere between 50 and 70 youngsters were being recruited annually in anticipation of the merger of Peoples War Group (PWG), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) and Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI) in 2004. Over the next six years, the recruitment was around 20 to 25 every year, as per police records.

“We worked first with the district administration under an MoU till 2017, where we conducted training and placement for which the administration provided us with funding. Subsequently, we have been working with police and helping them with placements for youths they have mobilised through Rojgar Melawa app and other programmes,” said Annette Francis, programme director of Pratham, headquartered in Mumbai.

“The response in Gadchiroli has been really good as compared to other parts of the country. Here, we could mobilise three times more the number of aspirants than in many other parts,” she added.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Gadchiroli range) Sandip Patil said, “The idea behind mobilising local youths is to wean them away from Naxal influence. With a large number opting for jobs through our initiative shows that, given a choice, they would like to lead normal lives rather than partnering with Naxals for something that doesn’t bring them any benefits.”

Patil added, “Whenever there is police recruitment in Gadchiroli, we have seen hundreds from the interior areas appearing for test and fitness examination, which is more proof that most Gadchiroli youths are not enamoured by Naxal ideology.”

Superintendent of Police Ankit Goyal said, “Mobilisation is mainly done through a mobile app called Rojgar Melawa, where aspirants have to register. Where there is no mobile connectivity, the registration is done at employment camps.”

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