New Delhi: Tasked to control Naxal extremism, the CRPF has devised a plan to train young girls from Maoist-hit areas as security guards and ensure jobs for
them in cities close to their hometowns.
The central paramilitary force, which has deployed close to 70,000 personnel for anti-Naxal offensive, has trained the first batch of 90 girls from interiors of states like Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa and got them salaried jobs in malls, offices and residential complexes in big cities to save them from possible trafficking.
The entire cost of their training has been borne by the CRPF.
The girls are in the age group of 20-25 years and hail from families with modest means.
The step has been initiated by chief of CRPF Operations and Additional DG PM Nair who undertook a maiden `market survey` to identify the potential for such a scheme in Naxal hotbeds.
"We found that Naxalism was leading to trafficking of girls and women from interiors of these states. The initiative was undertaken with the help of local NGOs and business bodies to ensure jobs and dignified careers for the girls," Nair told a news agency.
The necessity for such an initiative was felt as government jobs and recruitment in police forces are limited but aspirants are many, Nair said, adding that a two-pronged approach of police action and development is what the CRPF is aiming at.
A market survey was subsequently carried out which found that "there was an requirement of competent, capable and trained security guards at various malls and upcoming institutions in nearby cities and townships (of Naxal-hit areas)".
"The survey also brought out requirement of women security guards in many establishments. It was found that there was a preference for women for such jobs, especially where majority of customers were women," the survey found.
The young girls have been placed as security guards at Kasturba Gandhi residential school in Ranchi and Dhanbad in Jharkhand while others have been recruited at the state museum and private shopping malls in Ranchi and few others in Orissa.
Nair said the force has now planned to extend the plan to other states like Chhattisgarh.
The study done by the Additional DG also found that a number of young girls and women were vulnerable to trafficking by Naxal cadres and others.
"Post mortem reports of girls killed in action in fighting security forces also were testimony to the sexual exploitation they are subjected to," the report said, adding
they were trafficked into militancy and extremism.
"Their vulnerability is being fully exploited," the report said.
The women, including some men also, have been trained in unarmed combat, weapon handling and other security related duties for about a month by CRPF trainers.