West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, declared on Friday that 70 lakh students in state-run schools have been provided free bicycles under the Sabuj Sathi scheme. The scheme is aimed at students of classes 9 -12.
Sabuj Sathi that translates to students’ companion is a scheme initiated 2 years ago to empower young students. Under this programme, the government of West Bengal provided free bicycles to children living in the remote areas and villages as well as students belonging to poor families. It is aimed at providing the right incentives to students for educational development.
Mamata Banerjee tweeted to declare that the scheme has been successfully working towards student empowerment with over 70 lakh students getting ownership of bicycles free of cost. It is a crucial step working towards the government’s drive towards the development of Maa, Mati, Manush. In fact, the logo for the Sabuj Sathi scheme with a young boy driving a cycle was created by the chief minister herself.
The scheme was announced in the state budget for the year 2015-2016. It was estimated for 40 lakh students studying in the government-run and government-aided schools. The first year was to reach to about 25 lakh students while the second year would aim at the rest 15 lakh. Almost 35 lakh students were benefitted in the first phase of the programme while 9.6 lakh in the second phase. The third phase witnessed another 25 lakh students, making it a whopping 70 lakh students to gain the benefit of this scheme. The bikes that were offered under this policy were made with 10 reflectors to ensure the rider’s complete safety.