The state government has drawn up plans to recruit youths from tribal families as ‘adivasi civic volunteers’ in Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram districts, where they will supervise traffic and help police maintain law and order.
“Recruiting of adivasi civic volunteers will be taken up shortly by state police. The secretariat has given the green light for the initiative. On one hand, it will generate employment for tribal youths. On the other hand, since they are locals, community policing will be done in a better way in Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram areas, which were once a hotbed for Maoists,” said a senior officer from the secretariat.
Sources said these volunteers will make house-to-house checks to ascertain whether the government’s welfare schemes are reaching tribals. They will also serve as grassroot-level informers regarding any resurgence of Maoist activities in these areas.
The volunteers will receive their training from police.
The move comes at a time when the Lok Sabha elections are round the corner. In the recent panchayat polls, the ruling party had not fared well in tribal-dominated parts of these districts. Political observers say the ruling party is aware of “a sense of dissatisfaction” among the tribal belt despite a series of welfare schemes for them, which includes rice at the rate of Rs 2 per kg.