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Utkarsh Bangla, Sabuj Sathi bag prestigious UN awards

Utkarsh Bangla, Sabuj Sathi bag prestigious UN awards

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's pet projects Utkarsh Bangla and Sabuj Sathi have won the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) awards under the United Nations.

S K Thade, principal secretary, Backward Classes Welfare department

and Roshni Sen, principal secretary, Technical Education Training and

Skill Development department, received the awards at an event in Geneva on April 9.

Parthapratim Manna, managing director, West Bengal Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Finance Development Corporation, which oversaw the distribution of cycles under Sabuj Sathi, also accompanied the team.

Utkarsh Bangla and Sabuj Sathi were selected out of 1,062 nominations and they also topped the list in their respective categories. The nominations were scrutinised and their sustainable development was examined by a team of experts.

Overwhelmed by the achievement of the state government, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote on her Facebook page: "I am very happy to share with you that our Utkarsh Bangla and Sabuj Sathi projects have won the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) awards under the aegis of the United Nations. Out of 1,062 nominations in 18 categories, Utkarsh Bangla got the topmost award and emerged a winner in the Capacity Building category. Sabuj Sathi ranked in the first five as a champion project under the ICT application: E-Government category. My heartiest greetings and best wishes to all."

"These projects are for our young generation - skill development training to increase employment opportunities for 6 lakh youths every year under Utkarsh Bangla and environment-friendly bicycles to school-going students in Classes IX to XII under Sabuj Sathi. Nearly 1 crore cycles have been distributed since the inception of the project," she wrote.

State Finance minister Amit Mitra had announced the Sabuj Sathi project during his Budget speech in 2015-16. The first batch of cycles was distributed among the students at Gopiballavpur Block I and then in West Midnapore at a function in October, which was presided over by Mamata Banerjee.

Since then, the project has had a far-reaching effect. It has drastically reduced the number of dropouts in schools, particularly in the rural areas and facilitated a major step towards women empowerment.

Cycles of Avon, Hero and Hercules are given to the students and the BCW department has names of all the beneficiaries, along with names of their schools, parents and the classes they were studying in when they received the cycles, as a part of e-governance.

Under Utkarsh Bangla, skill development training is given to youths. Several centres have been opened and youths are being given training there. The trained youths are then absorbed in different industries.

It may be mentioned that Mamata Banerjee has said that Bengal has reduced the unemployment problem by 40% by creating job opportunities, at a time when unemployment has seen an alarming rise in India.

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