Updated: December 16, 2021 3:44:47 am
IN A move to curb Left Wing Extremism, the Jharkhand government on Wednesday launched a scheme aimed at nurturing young sporting talents in Maoist-hit districts
Launching the Sports Action toward Harnessing Aspiration of Youth (SAHAY) scheme, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said the state has been “portrayed in a poor light by some”, who are not aware of Jharkhand’s rich tribal culture. “That said, we have to create an ambience where no one can lure or misguide our youths,” he said.
The scheme, which was launched in Saraikela-Kharsawan, West Singhbhum, Khunti, Gumla and Simdega districts, will be replicated in other districts as well. Nineteen of the state’s 24 districts are affected by Left Wing Extremism.
According to the scheme, boys and girls in the 14-19 age group from villages to ward level will be registered under the scheme, and given opportunities to display their skills in basketball, volleyball, hockey and athletics. They will be encouraged with incentives such as cash prize as well as money for kits.
The chief minister said a Sports Nursery will be set up in the affected areas to nurture talented youngsters.
The launch comes months after the state government claimed during the Home Minister’s meeting with LWE-affected states in September that the the Centre had “discontinued” certain schemes in some Maoist-hit districts and that absence of incidents of extremism cannot be the basis for concluding that it has been eradicated in those districts.
“This is where SAHAY fills the gap. We want to give the youth of Jharkhand in LWE-prone areas a plan. We were planning it for the past nine months and this is one of its kind initiative in the country. We have a lot of talent in the remote areas and we are planning to create an environment from where our people will prosper,” Soren said on Wednesday.
According to police records, 126 extremism-related incidents were reported the state in 2020, down from 196 in the year 2016. Number of civilians killed by extremists was 28 in 2020, down from 61 in 2016.
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