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Sabuj Sathi project: Bengal gets global award

Sabuj Sathi project: Bengal gets global award
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Kolkata: World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) handed over the "winner" prize 2020 to the state government for Sabuj Sathi project through a virtual ceremony on Monday.

SK Thade, principal secretary and OSD Backward Classes Welfare department received the prize on behalf of the state government. It may be recalled that Sabuj Sathi had bagged the "champion" award along with five projects in 2018. Sabuj Sathi had contested with 800 projects to become the "winner" under the e-government category.

Sabuj Sathi is the brain child of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She had handed over the cycles to the students at a function at Gopiballavpur now in Jhargram district in October, 2015. The cycles are given to the students of state-run, sponsored, aided schools and madrasas studying between classes IX and XII. The state government has so far distributed cycles among 85 lakh students at an estimated cost of over Rs 2,700 crore.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is keen on setting up cycle factories in Bengal. Sabuj Sathi has successfully brought down the number of school drop outs particularly the girls in rural and semi-urban Bengal.

Sumi Sutradhar, the daughter of a carpenter father and seasonal agriculture worker mother had to give up her studies as Labpur Satyanarayan Siksha Niketan, her school was 5 km away from their home. However, she was able to carry on with her studies because of the cycle given to her under the Sabuj Sathi scheme.

Hasina Khatun a student of class XI of Harlal United Madrasa said she needed a cycle to reach her school which was 6 km away. Her father who is a street vendor could not buy a cycle for her. "My parents wanted me to carry on with the studies but to do it I had to walk 6km every day. Sabuj Sathi has given a cycle which has helped me to go to my school every day."

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