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Scant media presence: Tribals in naxal hit belts now get to watch films

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Raipur, Oct 1: Tribals of Chhattisgarh's Abhujmad region, a naxal hotbed having scant mass media presence, can now watch films in a mini-theatre set up in the area, an initiative to connect them to the outside world.

Scant media presence: Tribals in naxal hit belts not get to watch films

The first theatre has been set up at Basing village in Abhujmad region of Narayanpur district by the state police and there are plans to develop more such facilities in the backward area soon, a police senior official said.

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The mini-theatre was inaugurated Thursday at the village, located around 400 km from Raipur, and locals came out in large numbers to watch the popular Bollywood film "Baahubali" on the big screen, Narayanpur Superintendent of Police Jitendra Shukla told PTI.

"The idea is to connect tribals of Abhujmad to the outside world which has been unknown to them largely because of Maoist activities," he said.

After a discussion with locals, the 100-seat capacity theatre has been named 'Basing Silema', which in the local Gondi dialect means 'Basing Cinema', Mr Shukla said, adding that villagers can watch films there free of cost.

Television and mobile phones are almost non-existent in the Abhujmad region, which is home to various aboriginal tribes, and except for the local market held once in a week, people do not have access to any means of entertainment.

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Even the Narayanpur town does not have a cinema hall or theatre, he said.

Besides films, villagers would now also be able to watch television channels on the big screen through the direct to home (DTH) service, said Mr Shukla, the brainchild behind the move.

The plan is to screen films and also documentaries on agriculture, education, sports and patriotism, he added.

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