The school is situated in Masapara which is around 10 km from Dantewada and was demolished twice, in 2008 and 2015, by a group of Maoists inhabiting the area. It reportedly lay abandoned since then.
A school that was reduced to rubble by Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district was seen teeming with fresh paints of yellow, pink and green— to welcome students. Interestingly, the premises were rebuilt by the guilt-ridden rebellers.
According to a report by The Times of India, the school is situated in Masapara which is around 10 km from Dantewada and was demolished twice, in 2008 and 2015, by a group of Maoists inhabiting the area. It reportedly lay abandoned since then.
However, after surrendering, the Maoists took it upon themselves to repair the damage they had caused to society. As a first step symbolising their changed mindset, they repaired and painted the school building to ensure the children get access to education to improve their lives. The next undertaking is to rebuild roads to ensure connectivity.
"After giving up arms, we saw the damage we had done. But we were overwhelmed when we realised the villagers were with us in the plan to reconstruct the building," said Santu Kunjam, one of the surrendered Maoists.
An elated Kunjam also stated that they had received support from the district administration and toiled hard for three months for the reconstruction activities. He is thrilled to be able to send their children to schools.
" We felt there is a dire need for roads here. Children need education and youth need jobs. Steadily, all these developments will be done with our contribution," he added.
Describing the situation, Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallava said that a group of 18 members including women, from Bhansi and Kamaloor area committees, had surrendered on July 1 under the Lon Varratu ('Return Home') initiative.
"They said they realise the need for educating their children. They admitted to razing this school building twice, and volunteered to rebuild it," said the officer.
Reports further added that this group of Maoists who had surrendered had destroyed railway tracks, damage roads and blown-up school building and bridges. Now, they have vowed and volunteered to rebuild them.
"We aim to give a better way of life to surrender Maoists and over 200 of them have given up arms under Lon Varratu campaign," said Dantewada collector Dipak Soni.