Free Bicycle Scheme Tamil Nadu for SC/ST Students
The Govt. of Tamil Nadu has launched another welfare scheme for the students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities of the state. Under the project, the state govt. will provide bicycles to all the school students studying in the 11th standard and belonging to the above mentioned communities in the new academic session of 2017. This scheme was launched on 4th January, 2017 along with several other social welfare schemes in the state. After the saddening death of Lt. Jalalalitha, who was worshiped across the state because of her pro-poor welfare schemes, the void is being fulfilled by party strongman O Paneerselvam. He is currently the appointed as Chief Minister of the state and has launched this free bicycle scheme which will help thousands of SC / ST students going for higher secondary classes.
Budget allocations under the free bicycle scheme
The state govt. has sanctioned a big corpus for the implementation of the scheme in the state. As per the scheme, a total of Rs. 243.96 crore has been sanctioned for the distribution of the bicycles to the Class XI going schools students who are from SC / ST community. This budget will be utilized in the current academic session. For the upcoming sessions, new budget allocations will be done by the state govt.
Beneficiaries of the free bicycle scheme
The Hon’ble CM has already mentioned that this state sponsored scheme for distributing free bicycles is only for the school students who are current studying in Class XI or are promoted to class XI recently. The class XI school students who are from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities will form the beneficiaries of the scheme. The beneficiaries must be permanent residents of Tamil Nadu. Although this is the first set of instructions in the scheme guidelines. However, the scheme might also be extended to the students of BPL families and lower income groups in near future. As per the census of 2011, the state has a total population of 72 million which may rise to 80 million by now. Around 20 per cent of the total population are SCs where as the percentage of scheduled tribes is near around 1 per cent. Hence, a good share of population in Tamil Nadu is from the SC / ST community. As per Govt. sources, around 6.19 lakh beneficiaries will be provided with the free bicycles.
Past bicycle distribution similar scheme by Tamil Nadu Govt.
Back in the academic session of 2001 – 02, when Lt. Jayalalitha was the Chief Minister of the state, she introduced a similar bicycle distribution scheme for the betterment of the school students of SC and ST communities. However, after few sessions, the scheme was modified and students outside the SC and ST communities also received those bicycles. The new scheme launched by Present CM Paneerselvam is completely dedicated only for the SC and ST school students of the state, reading in Class XI standard.
Advantages of the free bicycle scheme
The project to distribute free bicycles to the school students has several advantages which are as follows:
- As the state of Tamil Nadu has a large share of population from the Sc and ST communities, so this scheme will surely benefit numerous school children from the community as they can use it for daily transportation to schools and tuitions.
- The scheme will be a boost for the rural areas of the state where the schools are far and the students have to walk miles to attend schools, in absence of any formal transportation system. So the school students can use their bicycles as the mode of transportation.
- Tamil Nadu is one of the states in the country with large amount of school drop outs. And most students drop out from school during higher standard classes. So the scheme will be a morale booster for all those students to continue with their studies.
- The scheme has been launched along with several other welfare schemes by the AIADMK chief to extend the party’s stronghold in the state even further and get political benefits out of this in the 2019 general elections.
Kick off ceremony of the scheme
An inauguration ceremony was held in the state secretariat in Chennai on 4th January, 2017 where CM Paneerselvam has launched some other welfare schemes too, in addition this scheme. Dignitaries who were present in the inaugural ceremony of the scheme are as follows:
- O Paneerselvam, acting Chief Minister.
- S Valarmathi, Minister of Minorities Welfare.
- V M Rajalakshmi, Minster of Tribal Welfare.
- Some senior state govt. officials.
In the event, the CM of Tamil Nadu handed over the free bicycles to seven SC / ST school students who are studying in Class XI standard.
Some more information regarding the scheme
The scheme will be implemented by the Dept. of School Education and main importance will be given in the rural and backward regions of the state. The students need to apply for the scheme to the school headmaster along with SC / ST certificates, issued by the issuing authority.