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Case Study of the Day: Swabhiman Anchal

Context: Swabhiman Anchal has created transformations in Odisha, which can serve a transformation model for other districts as well.

Transformation in Swabhiman Anchal

  • Previous situation:
    • The ‘Cut-Off Area’ in Malkangiri district used to be the bastion of CPI (Maoist). ‘Cut-Off’ tag refers to its absolute remoteness.
    • It was a challenge for security forces to venture into the region – a sort of headquarters for CPI (Maoist)’s Andhra-Odisha Border Zone.
    •  The underdevelopment and absence of administration favored the Maoists to strengthen their position.
  • Developments in Swabhiman Anchal:
    • In 2018, the Odisha CM inaugurated the Gurupriya Bridge over the Balimela Reservoir, ending the isolation of the region.
    • He renamed the region as ‘Swabhiman Anchal’, which means Self-Respect Zone, and announced a special package of Rs 100 crore under the SETU (Socio-economic Transformation and Upliftment) scheme for the development of this Maoist stronghold.
    • Other projects, including mega piped water supply project, construction of mobile towers in the area, have helped the residents of Swabhiman Anchal join the mainstream.
    • As infrastructure of Swabhiman Anchal got better, development programmes were pumped in and the security forces won the confidence of the people, left-wing extremists (LWEs) retreated.
    • Operation Ghar Wapasi was launched in Swabhiman Anchal in2022 to completely sanitise the area from Maoist influences and integrate the people into the State’s social and developmental mainstream.
  • Impact of Development:
    • The people of Swabhiman Anchal, who were earlier perceived as sympathizers of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist), seemed to interact with the officers without any fear.
    • The people have aired their grievances to officers and gave suggestions for improvement in the region.

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