Do you know why Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is so keen on the Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojana? Because it is very close to his heart!
The mere sight of confident-looking schoolgirls pedalling away to their schools - be it through the narrow lanes of a remote village or the bustling city roads - gives him a lot of satisfaction.
If you want to know the chief minister's personal views on it, just log on to nitishspeaks.blogspot.com. The Bihar CM is the latest to join the growing Indian blogging community that includes Bollywood celebrities, politicians, working professionals, mothers and many more.
In his first blog he has written is about the popular cycle scheme. "This, in fact, is an affirmation of the fact that a small initiative can really go a long way in bringing about a big change," he writes, referring to the success of the scheme.
The blog is an attempt by the chief minister to reach out to more and more people - both in India and abroad. "Despite his busy schedule in the election year, he will devote some time to write his blogs and air his views and plans on important issues," says BJP MLC Sanjay Jha.
The positive vibes about Bihar created by the media - both national and international - have also contributed to the creation of the CM's blog. "After all, people want to know more and more about the positive changes taking place in Bihar. Even those in foreign are eager to know about Bihar's transformation. And who else can do it better than the chief minister himself, widely regarded as the turnaround man," says Jha.
The blog will also give the visitors an opportunity to interact with the chief minister and share views, which may not always be easily possible. "He will also reply to comments posted on the blog," says Jha, adding in the days to come people might get to see the chief minister's views on the burning issues like Women's Reservation Bill, Naxal problem, price rise, poverty etc.
In his first blog, Nitish recalls how the idea of the cycle scheme came to him. "To tell you the truth, I got the idea while I was at an official programme organised by the Patna district administration in 2006. On that occasion, I distributed a few bicycles among children from the underprivileged sections of society. When I handed over the keys to them, I could see happiness all over their faces and it (the memory) remained with me for a long time and led to the launch of the scheme," he says.
The chief minister writes the scheme has been an "unqualified success" since it has helped check the dropout rate of schoolgirls to a great extent across the state. "Now, our government has extended this scheme for schoolboys as well. I have always believed that any society cannot progress unless women progress - and women in any society cannot progress unless they are educated. This project personifies the winds of change blowing across the state," he writes.