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Bihar police use Amitabh posters to dismantle Maoists

Innovative idea to help unemployed youth be winners in life

Image Credit: AP
Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan
01 Gulf News

Patna: In an innovative idea, the police in Bihar are using the mass appeal of Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan to make the unguided, unemployed youths know the power of knowledge and be a “winner” in life.

Police officials in south-western Kaimur district have put up several big hoardings featuring large-than-life images of Big B to encourage the youths join their innovative programme “Audhaura Super 30” and have their life changed for better.

The programme which has brought out a sort of revolution in the rural areas of Bihar is aimed at giving free coaching, free lodging and free food to the poor talented youths settled in far-off backward villages to help them get jobs in state police as well as paramilitary forces. The police believe the job opportunities will slowly dismantle the Maoist networks in the region which may ultimately lead to the creation of a peaceful environment.

“It’s better to protect than kill”, goes the catchline of the police, explaining to the villagers that it’s better to be the guardians of law by opting for police jobs than getting hired for the job of a butcher by joining the Maoist camp which believes in mindless violence.

Another slogan exhorts the youths to nurse dream to get them translated into reality by the police. “Aap sapne dekhen, ham unhe sakar karenge (you see dreams, we will fulfill them)”, reads another slogan as hordes of poor students have been joining the police programme, finding in them their “friends”. The common perception about the police is not very encouraging as they are rather known as “tortures”.

“The use of Bachchan’s name to popularise our concept has simply worked wonders in the region. It is just unbelievable,” the Kaimur district superintendent of police Uma Shankar Sudhanshu, the brainchild behind this initiative, told the Gulf News by phone on Friday, adding their yearning for education was underlined from the fact that hundreds of youths had signed up for police jobs.

The idea behind using the picture of Bachchan, informed the SP, came after watching the promotional campaign of his popular TV game show Kaun Banega Crorepati (Who wants to be a millionaire) in which he had recited a poem about knowledge being the supreme thing in life. He said the entire poem has been used in the poster to motivate the youths pursue studies and be a creator, rather than a destructer as the Maoists have been doing.

According to him, of the 300 youths who have got themsevles enrolled with the police’s programme so far, 16 have already been qualified for various jobs in the security forces. The qualified youths have been selected for jobs in the Central Para Military Forces and Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP).

“Nothing is charged from youths in lieu of grooming. We are helping them out of our social obligation,” said Sudhanshu adding “We want to give proper guidance to the misguided youths to enable them be a responsible citizen.”

In a free-wheeling conversation with the Gulf News, the SP said some time ago, he began interacting with the local youths from the hilly terrain and other inaccessible areas virtually cut off from development works and came to know how the poor unemployed youths were being easily trapped by the Maoists for a petty amount.

“Initially, we started making the youths learn driving and gave free driving licence to over 300 youths. The move had a tremendous response as more and more youths began making a beeline before us looking for opportunities. So, finally we decided to do something concrete for the future of the poor youths, and thus was born Adhaura Super 30,”, revealed the SP. Adhaura, in fact, a block in Kaimur district, baldy infested with Maoist activities.

Bihar has been seriously plagued with the decades-old problem of Maoism, and according to a state government report, currently 33 out of its total 38 districts have been infested with Maoist activities.