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Former rebels bury past, step on road to peace

- Thirty-five ex-BLT cadres undergo training at L&T centre, courtesy NHPC Lower Subansiri project

Jorhat, June 25: A batch of 35 unemployed youths, all former BLT (Bodoland Liberation Tiger) cadres or their sons, is undergoing skill development training in a step towards socio-economic construction.

The training of the youths from Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts of Assam began yesterday and is being conducted at the Larson and Toubro training centre in Ghaziabad under National Hydroelectric Power Corporation’s social corporate responsibility. L&T is one of the major contractors of NHPC and its training centre at Ghaziabad is another wing of the construction major.

The NHPC’s proposed 2,000MW Lower Subansiri project at Gerukamukh in Dhemaji district, bordering Arunachal Pradesh, has been stalled for the past two years because of opposition from various sections who fear that the dam could break and flood vast areas leading to death and destruction on a massive scale.

The training programmes, which have been continuing for over a year now, are a bid to reach out to the people.

G.K. Singh, chief (human resources), NHPC, said the training programme was a bid to employ these youths and bring about socio-economic change in society.

“These unemployed youths, whose lives had been touched by violence at some point of time, were identified and scrutinised in association with Dhemaji district administration. They can rehabilitate themselves and earn a decent living through the training,” Singh said.

He said NHPC had taken up skill development, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been stressing on as the way to sustain economic growth and development, in these districts more than a year ago.

“Modi has said he will not give food, power or water for free but would attempt to enable people to earn their own livelihood through skill enhancement and training. What the government is proposing to do now, we had started long back,” he said.

Another NHPC official said the state government should be involved in such rehab schemes to enable misled youths to join the mainstream, but the power generation company had taken up this task in the absence of government concern.

The youths will receive training in masonry, bar bending, shuttering and carpentry among others.

Singh said NHPC’s Lower Subansiri hydro electricity project had already sponsored 204 unemployed youths from the project vicinity for training in various trades and most of them were now employed in different parts of the country.

The first batch of 11 youths was sent to Calcutta for logistics management trade training programme through Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL). The second batch of 20 youths was sent for heavy equipment training programme in Tata Hitachi. The third batch of 20 youths had undergone training in logistic management in Calcutta through TCIL. The fourth and fifth batches of 88 participants had been sent to the L&T training centre at Ghaziabad. The sixth batch of 30 unemployed youths had undergone graphic designing training in New Delhi. “Today we can proudly say that all these youths are earning between Rs 8,000 and Rs 20,000 and living independently,” Singh said.


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