Under the project, 40 lakh bicycles will be distributed among the students of Classes IX, X. XI and XII of state run, aided and sponsored schools. 25 lakh cycles have already been distributed among the students of classes X, XI and XII, and the remaining 15 lakh will be distributed among the students of Class IX. On the completion of the ambitious project, Bengal will become the country’s first state to distribute cycles among 40 lakh students.
While giving away the cycles at a program in Siliguri on Wednesday, Banerjee said that the state government will again need 40 lakh bicycles in 2018 which will be distributed among students of Classes IX, X, X and XII, as students who have received cycles now will have reached college by then.
She said 18,000 students studying in Class IX in Darjeeling district would get cycles. 11,000 will be distributed now and the remaining 7,000 will be distributed later. Distribution of cycles in Cooch Behar will begin shortly.
The cycles that have been distributed contain 10 reflectors so that they can be easily spotted at night by motor vehicles. It was also seen that the logo affixed on the basket used to be removed by some students who were given cycles.
To avoid this, the logo has been embossed on the mudguard. Banerjee said 3,000 youths belonging to SC and ST categories will be given training so that they can become self reliant by maintaining these cycles. She said under the Kanyashree project 35 lakh girls have been benefitted. Under the Sikshashree scheme, SC and ST students were given money and scholarships are given to students belonging to minority communities.
A scheme named after Swami Vivekananda will encourage students to take up higher education. Banerjee said the state government was doing its best to help students to carry on with education.
While addressing the students, the Chief Minister said that parents and teachers often scolded them just because they wanted them to do better.
“Never mind when your parents and teachers scold you. They do this just because they want you to do better,” she said. Banerjee hoped that the students who are receiving many facilities to carry on with their studies “will reach the top someday by becoming as great as Shakespeare, Rabindranath or Nazrul,”, and added that “you will have all the possibilities in you and try to explore that.”
Banerjee asked the students to concentrate on their studies seriously, along with pursuing music, fine arts and sports. “Take your studies seriously and pursue music, fine arts and sports and surely you will reach the stop someday,” she said.
Earlier, Banerjee along with senior state government officials, including the Director General of police Surajit Kar Purkayastha and Sanjay Thade, Principal Secretary, Backward Clases Welfare department reached Bagdogra Airport Wednesday afternoon.