The Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has decided to gift bicycles to municipal school students studying in Class 8, in a bid to encourage more enrolments and minimise dropout rates. The free bicycle scheme will be implemented under the aegis of MBMC's women and child welfare committee (CWC) from the current academic session, officials said.
“While a large section of children studying in MBMC-run schools come from the lower economic strata of society, several reside in far-off tribal and rural areas and the bicycles will be very useful for them. We are determined to support each and every student to pursue their dreams of completing studies,” CWC chairperson Mira Devi Yadav said. At present, there are 36 municipal schools that impart education in Marathi, Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati and semi-English modes to more than 8,200 students.
Around 186 students have passed their Class 7 exams and have been promoted in the current academic session. The CWC has sought information from the education department about the actual requirement of bicycles for which orders will be placed as per needs, at the earliest.
“I stay in a tribal hamlet in Kashimira, it takes nearly 30 minutes for me to walk down to the bus stop on the main road to reach my school, which is another half an hour further away. The bicycle will be a boon for me,” said Bheema Vartha, a class VIII student from an MBMC school in Mira Road. The CWC will also distribute sanitary napkins to girl students free of cost.
Notably, the MBMC had recently conducted an intensive door-to-door survey to identify out-of-school children and bring them into the formal education system.