Karnataka: No bicycles for schoolkids this academic yr

Karnataka: No bicycles for schoolkids this academic year

Ever since the free bicycle distribution programme started in 2006-07, this is for the first time that bicycles are not being provided to kids

Karnataka government began providing free bicycles to government school students in 2006-07. DH File Photo

Regardless of the decision by the Karnataka government on reopening of schools for the 2020-21 academic year, students will miss out on several facilities offered, including free bicycles. 

Keeping in mind the delay and uncertainty over the reopening of schools due to Covid-19 pandemic, the department of primary and secondary education has decided not to provide free bicycles for class 8 students this year. 

Sources in the department told DH that they are mulling to provide bicycles for both the years during the next academic year 2021-22.

“It is already late and if we provide kids with the cycles now, it will serve no purpose. The plan is to give bicycles for students of class 8 and 9, during the next academic year,” explained an official. 

As per the information from the department, ever since the free bicycle distribution programme started in 2006-07, this is for the first time that bicycles are not being provided to kids. 

“There had been delays for some years. But the government had never stopped the programme. This year, due to unavoidable circumstances, we are forced to withhold the process,” another official said. 

Officials said the tender process alone will require three to four months.

“By then, the academic year itself will get over. Hence, we have decided to defer the distribution of cycles to next year,” the official said. An estimation by the department revealed that at least 5.5 lakh cycles are required this academic year.