Kolkata : After ‘Kanyashree’, another pet project of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, ‘Sabooj Sathi’, has received international recognition from the United Nations sponsored World Summit on Information Society.
According to state government sources, about 162 nations took part in the contest with 1,600-strong entries of various schemes from different nations. West Bengal’s Sabooj Sathi scheme topped the chart and received global recognition on a virtual platform.
The scheme was launched in 2015 with an aim to empower school students (from Class IX-XII) by providing them free bicycles.
The term Sabooj Sathi means students’ companion. ‘Sabooj’ stands for green in Bengali and also implies children while ‘sathi’ means companion.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself had created the logo for the scheme which consists of a young boy running, with two spinning bicycle wheels alongside his legs.
Sources said that another state government-supported technical skill development scheme for the youth, ‘Uthkarsho Bangla’, also got recognised as Skill Development Champion in the virtual contest.
Kanyashree is an initiative taken by the state government to improve the lives and status of girls by helping economically backward families with cash so that families do not arrange the marriage of their girl child before eighteen years because of economic problem.
The purpose of the Kanyashree scheme is to uplift those girls who are from poor families and thus can not pursue higher studies due to tough economic conditions.
The project was honoured with the highest public service award by the United Nations’ Department of International Development in 2017.