A visit to a village called Sepahipara, that was once a hotbed of militancy, today reflects how today it has turned a model village.
Twenty kilometres north of Agartala, the capital city of Tripura, lies Sepahipara village, a home to Debbarma tribe.
Located near the Indo-Bangladesh border, it was once a breeding ground of militants, especially of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT).
With the return of normalcy 2 years back there has been a major change in socio-economic situation and the villagers can now move around freely without any fear for their daily work.
"Earlier, there was militancy in this area but now it's peaceful.
We were unable to move freely because of the fear of militants. Everything is better these days," said Buddhi Debbarma, one of the villagers.
The local residents reminisce how life was so difficult here that teachers could not come to the village school. They feared being abducted by militants.
Today, with return of peace, teachers are no more hesitant. They come regularly. Children, who were previously prevented from attending schools, do not face such problems any more and show interest in studies.
In a bid to draw maximum children to schools, the 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan' scheme has been implemented. Under this scheme, students are provided free textbooks, food, and other facilities.
The scheme that aims to ensure education benefits all people has captivated many students here.
Krishna Debebarma, the headmistress, says: "The SSA scheme was implemented in 2003 here and it has proved quite beneficial. Underprivileged children are now joining along with other students and it is the result of the successful implementation of Sarva Shiksha Scheme."
Children say today they regular attend their schools.
"We come to school everyday and we get the facilities like daily meals, textbooks and stationery. Our teachers are very dedicated and we also study with enthusiasm," said Soma Debbarma, one of the student.
Besides, a regular supply of drinking water and electricity has made life better and easier for villagers.
Take for example Pritish Debbarma, a student, who can now study at night.
He now dreams of becoming a successful engineer or a doctor.
"With the availability of regular electricity, we can study better and even at late night," said Pritish Debbarma, a student.
Also traditionally, farming has not been the occupation of Debbarma tribe. But, in recent years, they have started cultivating paddy using the latest farm machinery. However, those who don't have land, get work under the MNREGA scheme.
Farmers are happy that they have schemes like NREGA that today offers them livelihood.
"Many youngsters now get employment under the NREGA scheme. They get work for 15-20 days a month. It helps them to look after their families in a better way, including providing education for the children," said Dolukumar Debbarma, a farmer.
Today, villagers have started to believe that with peace prevailing in the region life will further improve for their better. By Pinaki Das (ANI)