Patna, Sept. 28: Chief minister Nitish Kumar aims to replicate his cycle scheme for girl students among women working in the construction sector.
At a cheque distribution function for construction workers today, Nitish said: “Girls riding bicycles to school is a symbol of women empowerment. The bicycle scheme has not only helped improve girls’ education in the state but has also given their confidence a boost. I want to see women labourers in the construction industry use bicycles to go to their workplaces.”
The labour resources department organised the cheque distribution function at SK Memorial Hall for 1,563 workers from the Patna division. Under the scheme, workers registered with the labour resources department are provided cheques for Rs 15,000 to buy cycles, equipment and also build their house.
Mahavir Ram, one of the beneficiaries, said: “The chief minister’s effort towards improving our working condition are laudable.”
The scheme was launched around two years ago but only 39,000 construction workers have been registered. Upset with the tardiness of registration, Nitish directed the officials concerned to speed it up, especially among women.
Nitish said: “For the welfare of the construction workers, one per cent (cess) of the total project is spent on the welfare of workers. The labourers can get money in times of emergency.”
Workers engaged in the construction industry account for a large share of the state’s population and come next to that of the agriculture sector. The chief minister said construction work in the state has gone up with several projects being carried out by the government as well as the private sector. He also announced other schemes, including setting up of industrial training institutes for the wards of workers engaged in the construction industry and ensuring better and speedy delivery of medical assistance to the workers under the National Rural Health Mission.
Riding on the success of the bicycles-for-girl students scheme introduced in 2007, Nitish retained power in 2010. The scheme has not only been appreciated by various government agencies but speakers at a conference, “Ideas for Growth”, organised recently by the London School of Economics also hailed it as one that could be replicated globally.
Experts at the conference in London said the high school dropout rate among girls dipped after the implementation of the scheme.