Palamu (Jharkhand), April 24 : Spread over 5,000 square kilometers of area, and having a population of around 1.6 million, Palamu was once known as the bastion of Naxalism.
Many believe that Naxalism started form this place in Jharkhand. overty and hunger helped breed Naxalism in Palamu. The government realized this and started taking steps to encourage economic development in the area.
Today, the district is showing development all around.
Nagendra Prasad Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Palamu, said: "There is a change in the people's lifestyle and mentality. We have adopted a holistic approach to encourage development. The future of Palamu district is very bright."
The development projects that were taken up after the State came into existence seven-and-half years ago have changed the face of the district that was marred by Naxalites' terror .
Recent programmes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) has provided employment to people of the area. At least 16 other programmes are being implemented in the district. Road have been reconstructed and damns and wells are being built. Many primary, secondary and high schools have been established.
During 2007-08, 117,876 people got employment under the NREGS. Since the formation of the State, 14 big and 64 medium and small bridges have been constructed under the Gram Setu Yojna. It has benefited 300 villages of Palamu.
Moreover, 4,200 wells, 400 ponds, 472 dams and 175-kilometers roads have been constructed. And, 979 schools have been established which are ensuring education to 35,000 children.
The effect of this change can be noticed on residents' lives.
Sonam Kumari, a student, said: "Earlier, there was no school in the area. Children, especially girls, were not able to go to school. They had to remain illiterate. Now, the programmes started by the State government have enabled many girls to get education."
Earlier women of the area didn't move out of their houses. Today, a lot of women have started earning by becoming members of various self-help groups (SHGs). By Girija Shankar Ojha