The Backward Classes Welfare department (BCW) has taken up a unique scheme to provide training to 3,500 Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe youth who will work as fitters in the Sabuj Sathi project with a view to make them self-reliant.
The scheme, which is the first-of-its kind in the country, will help in getting the bicycles assembled that will come to the state soon. The state government has already distributed 30 lakh bicycles among the students of Classes IX, X, XI and XII of state-run, aided and sponsored schools.
Another 30 lakh cycles will be distributed among the students of Classes IX and X. The project that started in 2015 has brought great success and has helped students particularly in the rural areas to reach school. The project has been renamed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and she had sketched the logo which is being embossed in every cycle. It is important to mention that the price of every cycle is Rs 3,312.
The youth are being given training in six districts — Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, South Dinajpur, Nadia and Hooghly — under the skill development project. The cycle spares come in 121 boxes.
An average fitter working in the shops can assemble a maximum of two cycles in a day. Around 4,500 fitters who had come to assemble 30 lakh cycles could complete fittings of seven to eight cycles per day.
Now, these SC and ST youth will be trained to assemble seven to eight cycles per day which will do away with brining fitters from other states.
Once all the cycles have been distributed, the trained youth can open cycle repairing shops with financial assistance from the government and thus become self-reliant. Those receiving training by the three companies that are supplying the bicycles, will be given tools free of cost.
There is a three-year warranty for the cycles that will be distributed among the students. They will be given warranty cards and the fitters will be maintaining the cycles for three years free of cost. The cycles are fitted with 12 reflectors and a unique identification number which are machine readable.
The BCW has already stored the data containing names of 30 lakh students, their guardians, schools where they study along with the date when they had received the cycles. It has already prepared a data bank of those who will receive the cycles.
Thus, the department has names of 60 lakh students studying in state-run, aided and sponsored schools in its data bank.