New Delhi: Central paramilitary forces will soon be seen in a new avatar as they are set to carry clothes, medicine and transistors instead of guns in far flung areas of Naxal-affected states in an effort to woo villagers.
To win hearts of people, the forces will launch a massive civil action programme in Maoist-hit areas by conducting medical camps, skill development programmes and providing drinking water at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore each year.
The civic action programme, approved by the Home Ministry, will be carried out by Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Indo Tibetan Border Police and Sashastra Seema Bal -- the four paramilitary forces engaged in anti-Naxal operations.
The programme will be carried out in nine worst Naxal-hit states -- Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The forces will run health, medical, dental, veterinary camps, besides distributing medicines to patients, bearing cost of pathological tests, giving out mosquito nets in malaria endemic areas, mobilizing sick, pregnant women to the nearest health centres for treatment.
Youth living in Maoist-hit areas will be imparted vocational training and career counseling. They will also be provided study material.
Farmers will be given good quality seeds, fertilizer, fruit bearing plants and cooperative farming will be promoted among them.
Hand pumps will be installed for providing drinking water, besides helping people to develop sources of non-conventional energy including provision of solar lamps.
The forces will promote local handicraft and cottage industries, develop sports facilities, make sports items available to children and youth and also conduct sports tournaments.
Poor, children, old and handicapped will be provided clothes and blankets. Economically backward families will be given aluminum utensils, knives etc.
Besides, the forces will regularly host film shows on various subjects including India`s freedom movement, culture of different regions of the country, social evils like dowry and child marriage.