WB govt to give bicycles to over 14,000 girls students

Bhattacharjee handed over the cycles to 10 such girls at a programme organised by the North Bengal Development Council in Malbazar in Jalpaiguri district.

The girls studying from class VIII to XII and living in 193 tea gardens Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar and Darjeeling districts would get the cycles.

"Some girls travel 8 to 10 km to go to school. Many prefer to drop out because of distance and lack of mode of transport to schools in hilly areas. A cycle will lessen the problem," Bhattacharjee said at the function.

Apsara Dorjee, who was among those to get a cycle, said, "I am happy. I had to foot about 6 km (to go to school). Now I can pedal to school."

Among the beneficiaries 12,330 will be from Jalpaiguri, 1,874 from Darjeeling and 125 from Coochbehar districts.

Criticising the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, the chief minister said every step should be taken to stop spreading of violence from Darjeeling hills to Dooars and Terai.

Problems in the hills should have to be solved through talks, he said.
Meanwhile, the Adivasi Vikash Parishad submitted a memorandum to the chief minister demanding that Dooars and Terai be included in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution, which provides for administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.

Bhattacharjee said he would call Parishad leaders for talks after returning to Kolkata.

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