The Punjab government will give 1, 38,000 bicycles to girls studying in Classes 11 and 12 in government schools in various parts of the state to boost girls' education, a state minister said on Friday.
The scheme under the Women and Child Development Department will cost nearly Rs 40 crore to the state exchequer, Education Minister Om Parkash Soni told reporters here.
He said 11,085 bicycles will to be given to girls in Amritsar district alone. To begin with, as many as 940 girls of a government school here were given the bicycles, Soni added.
It is a step by the government to encourage the girls to continue their higher studies even after schools as the dropout rate of female students is much more than that of male students. More often than not, girls from underprivileged families and remote areas, where connectivity is low, drop out of school once they hit puberty.
"The aim of providing bicycles free of cost to girls is to encourage them to continue their education even after school," the minister said. He also said the government was working to provide better teaching facilities for students in government schools.
About the Women and Child Development Ministry: The Women and Child Development Ministry is currently headed by Maneka Sanjay Gandhi and was earlier a department under the Ministry of Human Resources Development since 1985. The department came into its own on January 30, 2006.