Earlier, the state government had given shoes to school children and distributed 25 lakh bicycles among the students of classes X, XI and XII. Another 15 lakh bicycles will be given shortly and e-tender will be floated to select the firms. The Backward Classes Welfare Department has prepared a list of 40 lakh beneficiaries and every cycle has a unique identification number.
It may be recalled that Mamata Banerjee, while attending a function in Burdwan found children going to school without shoes. She immediately asked Partha Chatterjee to make arrangements to distribute shoes to them. She said over and over again that it was nice to see children going to school dressed in proper uniform and with shoes on. She maintained that a pair of shoes would give confidence to the school goers.
Surya Kanta Misra had opposed the move and had criticised her. He had also said that the bicycles which were distributed were of poor quality. Manik Bhattacharya, president Board of Primary Education said the guardians now believe that the state government was looking after their wards.