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Gaurav Kumar asked: What constitutes the "civic action programme" undertaken by the union government in areas affected by LWE (left wing extremism)? How does it work?

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  • Vivek Chadha replies: Before answering the question, it is important to understand the circumstances and conditions which characterise any insurgency. Most areas affected by such movements are severely impacted in terms of the ability to render even basic civic amenities to the common people. These include provision of food supplies, medical support, transportation in case of emergencies, schooling and basic recreational facilities. Given the limited ability to govern such areas effectively, the insurgents fill the void and run a parallel government.

    It is under these circumstances that security and administrative agencies reach out to the people in the far flung areas to provide them these very basic amenities to enable sustenance and support. These civic action programmes are funded by the government and are undertaken based on the local requirements and conditions. This implies that these cannot be generic in nature and must address the local needs of an area. Even as basic needs are addressed, these programmes also help re-establish the writ of the state and convince the people of the need to support the government against the insurgents.

    Based on these very guidelines, civic action programmes have been undertaken in LWE affected areas. Initiatives differ from overall capacity building to include roads, medical facilities and schools to specific needs of local areas depending on the needs of the people. This could include a water supply scheme for a particular area and a vocational institute in another.