Alex Paul Menon hit the headlines last year when he was abducted and later released by Naxals. He is now the Chief Executive Officer, Raipur Development Authority. Alex’s father, a school teacher, couldn’t afford to send him to coaching centres in Delhi. It was sheer hard work that helped him become an IAS officer. “Anyone can crack the UPSC exams, provided they have the right orientation,” he said. When he started off as collector of Sukma in Chhattisgarh, Alex had to literally “carry his own chair” to the collectorate. But, things gradually improved. From starting bus services to building residential schools for children affected by Naxal-violence, Alex spoke about his various developmental projects in the Naxal hotbed.