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Women in Maoist-affected Malkangiri join self-help groups; improve living conditions

Malkangiri (Orissa) , Tue, 06 Sep 2011 ANI

Malkangiri (Orissa), Sep.6 (ANI): Despite living under the constant fear of the threat posed by Maoist ultras in Orissa, women have joined self-help groups to become independent and improve their living conditions.


Scores of women are engaged in farming and other activities. With their tireless efforts, the women are likely to bring the desired social economic change in the state.


"I am a resident of Malkangiri. The President of a self-help group called me and asked me to set up a tent-house business. She gave me Rs.50, 000 and helped me to start my business. I am doing well and earning a reasonable amount," said Gayatri, a self-help group member.


An atmosphere of fear and distress prevails in these villages. Tribals, threatened by Maoists, have been forced to leave behind their homes and their source of livelihood.


Moreover, the development work in these areas gets stalled, leading to further impoverishment.


With the help of self help groups' women have taken up the task of self-development upon themselves


"We are working with a self-help group and are engaged in farming for the last three years. We grow a variety of vegetables. We sell these vegetables in the market. Whatever we earn, we deposit some money in the bank and we spend the rest on our families," said Sunita Haldar, a self-help group member.


These self-help groups are aiding the needy by making regular payments to the civil supply department and beneficiaries. This helps the locals to get subsidised PDS (Public Distribution Sytem) supplies near their houses, which they can collect when they have the money in hand.


In fact, these groups are also holding talks with higher authorities for more development projects in the region.


The Maoist insurgency has gripped nearly one-third of the country, spreading into the interiors of 20 of India's 28 states.


Maoists oppose development activity like the construction of roads, provision of schools and drinking water facilities in the area. The Maoists feel that if development comes to the area, their support base will diminish substantially. There is a virtual breakdown of state-machinery in the Maoist affected regions. (ANI)


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