Ramakrishna Mission, Catholic bishops to take programmes to people

In a path-breaking measure, which could become an issue of discussion in some quarters, the Union government has decided to involve missionary groups of various hues in taking its programmes to the people in areas affected by Naxalite activities.

Apart from giving the green signal to engage Ramakrishna Mission Ashram in Narainpur district in Chhattisgarh, which the Communist Party of India (Maoist) claims to be a liberated zone, Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has decided to engage the services of Catholic bishops to spearhead development activities among the tribals of Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, three States affected by left-wing extremism (LWE).

In a letter to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Mr. Ramesh has given his clearance for a Rs. 23-crore proposal of the ashram to undertake various activities in the Maoist-affected district.

According to Mr. Ramesh, the ashram is the only group working in Narainpur district since its inception in 1985, while the government has been unable to make its presence felt.

More In: National | News