The Rotary clubs of RID 3201 have donated bicycles to 1,500 students on the first day of this Rotary year.
A brainchild of DG Jose Chacko Madhavaserry (D 3201), the Pedal to School initiative, aims to provide free bicycles to 3,000 underprivileged students between ages 12–18 across the district that comprises parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The project cost is estimated at ₹1.42 crore.
“Some parents cannot afford public transport to send their children to school. Bicycles are a great incentive for sending children to school. In many regions lack of proper transport is a key factor contributing to the high school dropout rate especially among girls,” says District Secretary Dr Mani Raghavan.
He points out that bicycles will provide a safer means of transport for the students especially now in the present Covid scenario. “They can travel at a safe distance and avoid crowded public transport.” This year the district plans to focus on programmes related to youth, environment and shelter. Youngsters get their daily dose of exercise as they ride on the bicycles and the clubs will be promoting an environment friendly means of transport. This project thereby addresses the key areas of youth, environment and positive health, says Raghavan.