After promising to provide bicycles to girl students of Class 9 and 10 under the Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme, the cash-starved Punjab government has given a miss to their promise this year with only girls of Class 11 and 12 benefitting from it.
Initially, the government had started giving bicycles to girl students of Class 11 and 12 but the government announced to distribute bicycles to girl students Class 9 and 10 from this year as well.
The scheme was launched by Parkash Singh Badal-led government in 2011 to encourage girl students studying in government schools to continue their studies even if their schools are located at a distance from their homes by providing bicycles to girls.
In May, director general school education (DGSE), Punjab, had issued a letter to all district education officers (DEOs secondary) to prepare a list of total number of girl studying from Class 9 to 12 at government schools in their respective areas for distributing bicycles to them.
Following the directions, DEOs (secondary) had sent lists comprising the total number of girls studying in these classes but during the time of distribution girl students of Class 9 and 10 were left out.
DGSE officials said they have not received any instructions to give bicycles to girls of Class 9 and 10 so far.
Moreover, the distribution of bicycles to girl students of Class 11 and 12 is also going on at a snail’s pace as only 70 bicycles have been distributed in Kapurthala district while 3,700 girls are yet to receive bicycles.
In Jalandhar district, only 5,000 of a total of 11,700 bicycles have been distributed so far.
Kapurthala DEO (secondary) Roop Lal said they have received bicycles which are being assembled and they will be distributed among the girl students of Class 11 and 12 soon.
“We have not received any instructions regarding the distribution of bicycles to girl students of Class 9 and 10 so far,” he said.
In 2013-2014, the state government claimed to have distributed more than 1.52 lakh cycles spending `41.90 crore to 82,244 girl students of Class 11 and 70,086 girl students of Class 12.