Restarting of kiln generates employment in Maoist-hit Purulia
The restarting of a kiln is generating employment in Maoist-hit Purulia district of West Bengal.
The kiln that used to provide employment to villagers had been closed for some years following threats by the Maoists.
The residents of Ghatbera village in the district have welcomed the kiln's reopening.
"Earlier, the government did not provide us with any facilities or development in the area. The locals were dependent on the kiln. It was closed due to the fear of the Maoists but now it has reopened and is functioning," said Gopal Ruidas, a villager.
The villagers also depend on forests for their livelihood as they collect wood and sell it in the cities.
About 50 villagers, both men and women work in the kiln and earn about Rs.50 per day.
"It has been two weeks since the plant reopened. And before that it was closed due to the fear of the Maoists. It was closed for the past few years," said Jaba Singh, a worker.
The stand-off between the Maoists, security forces and the government is decades old. While the rebels continue to try to expand their reach, moving from remote rural areas to the cities, and claim they are fighting for the rights of the poor and landless, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoist rebellion as one of the gravest security threats to India.