Some students were injured in a clash between two groups in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here, said police on Friday.
The state government will distribute 12.50 lakh bicycles among students studying in class IX in state-run, aided, sponsored schools and madrassas under the Sabuj Sathi scheme. The cycles have started arriving and will be distributed among the students who are studying in class IX in 2023. The scheme had received recognition from the United Nations in 2020. So far, 1.15 crore cycles have been distributed.
The first batch of cycles had been distributed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Gopiballavpur in West Midnapore on 23 October 2015. Earlier, during his budget speech, the then state finance minister Amit Mitra had announced the project.
Currently, three cycle manufacturers, namely, Hero, Hero Eco Tech and Avon are supplying the cycles. Each cycle costs Rs 4,019. The West Bengal Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe& OBC Development and Finance Corporation gave training and cycle repairing kits to 3,000 youths to repair the cycles which have been distributed among the students.
The training will help them to be economically independent. The cycle parts of the cycles are brought to the state in heavy duty trucks. They are then assembled and kept in government offices from where they are distributed. The Backward Classes Welfare Department (BCW) has full data relating to the student beneficiaries, including their names, which class they were studying in when they received the cycles, the date they received the cycles, the names of the schools they had been studying in.
The cycles carry a logo designed by the Chief Minister. Pratichi Trust had conducted a study on the social impact of Sabuj Sathi cycles. The study praised the BCW for keeping detailed data, to do which no additional expenditure was incurred by the state government.
The scheme helped to stop early marriage of girl students and saved the transportation cost of the students. The scheme has very successfully prevented drop out of school going students. Bengal is the only state where cycles are given to the students free of cost.
The state government encourages cycling as it is eco-friendly and keeps the cyclist fit. In New Town an international cycle track is under construction. There are graded paths for cyclists in New Town. It is the only township in the country that has a cycle hiring system where a person can hire a cycle, go to their destination, after which he or she can deposit the cycles after paying the requisite fee