Once a dreaded Maoist carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head, Arjun from Chhattisgarh is a changed man now. Giving up his arms and violence, Arjun has chosen a cultural path to make a difference to people's lives.
On World Environment Day recently, he organised a cultural show to create awareness among the tribals.
Arjun worked as a Maoist for almost 20 years before realising that Maoist ideology is not good for the society. He was in charge of south Bastar division of the Chetna Natya Mandali, a cultural wing of the Maoists, before surrendering to the police in Sukma in March this year.
"I worked for 20 years with Maoists. During that period also I performed dramas and plays and worked among the tribals (to promote Maoist ideology). However, I realised that the path adopted by them is not right and hence I decided to give it up" he told news agency ANI.
"Now I have joined the mainstream and I work with the police in generating awareness among the citizens. I sing songs for generating awareness," he added.
A police officer from the area said that Arjun's talent is now being utilised for taking varied useful messages to people, including those about government schemes.
"Apart from neutralising Maoists during our operations, we also raise awareness among people about various government welfare programs. Inspired by it, many Maoists have given up arms and joined the mainstream," said police officer Salabh Sinha.
Arjun has now formed his team in generating awareness among the people. "We decided to use his talent in the right direction earlier through his drama and song he was involved in spreading Maoist ideology," he added.
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