Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said a bicycle is not just a means of transport but an instrument of empowerment too.
On the occasion of World Bicycle Day, Ms Banerjee in a tweet message said, “Today is World Bicycle Day. A bicycle is not just a means of transport but an instrument of empowerment too.
“ The Bangla Goverment has distributed over one crore bicycles to students under Sabooj Sathi scheme. These cycles have enabled them to attend school even from far-off places,” she said.
In an another tweet Ms Banerjee said, “The Sabooj Sathi project was declared a ‘Champion Project’ at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes, given by ITU, a United Nations organisation in April, 2019, out of 1,140 projects across 18 categories.”
Sabooj Sathi is a scheme of West Bengal government for distribution of bicycles to the students of class IX to XII studying in government run and aided schools and Madrashas. The scheme was launched in September 2015.
‘Sabuj Sathi’ is a project wherein all school-going children in West Bengal are going to be gifted bicycles by the state government.
Thel name for the project came to the chief minister’s mind while on her way from Darjeeling to Bagdogra Airport. The rain-drenched sylvan mountains piqued her creativity. She began penning poems for children. Thus was born the name ‘Sabuj Sathi’ – ‘Sabuj’, the word for ‘green’ also implies ‘children’ in Bengali, and ‘sathi’ means ‘companion’, hence ‘Sabuj Sathi’ or ‘children’s companion.’
The chief minister has created the logo for the project as well. It consists of a young boy running, with two spinning bicycle wheels alongside his legs.
World Bicycle Day is observed on this day to to recognise the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which are affordable, environmentally friendly fit sustainable means of transportation.