Social workers risking their lives on the job

Yuva Parivartan now spreads across 18 states in India. With the skill development camps expanding to deeper rural pockets of India, the challenges our social workers face are getting more serious every day. But these challenges don’t stop us from going ahead with our mission.

For more than a year we have been working in Jharkhand, a region populated by more than 18 notorious Naxal groups. Two weeks back, our social workers Rewat and Sandeep were on a field trip. They reached Barrang, a small village in the south-west region of Jharkhand; a region with considerable Naxal terrorism since a long time.

Rural villages in India have a weekly ‘Haat’ bazaar – a community gathering where all the villagers come together to buy and sell goods. In broad daylight, the Barrang village bazaar was invaded by 4 naxalities who opened fire at all the villagers. There was lot of chaos as people started running for their lives. Rewat and Sandeep ran for their lives and evaded a very close encounter with death by managing to hide in the nearby bushes. However, 5 lives were lost in this encounter. The villagers didn’t step out of their house for a few days after the massacre, until the police arrived assuring them of their safety. Such encounters damage the foundation of trust and unity we aim to build with these villages everyday.

Although Rewat and Sandeep returned back to Hutar after 4 days, this incident has not stopped them from going to Barrang. In fact, they have stepped up the frequency of visits to high activity villages to help the people normalize their lives after such violence. They have been in constant touch with the youth in these areas trying to engage them in community activities and understand the importance of unity and community building.

We are very proud to have such brave hearts in our team and we wish we keep going ahead with our mission of training and providing livelihoods to rural India.