The effect of Bihar’s girl cycle scheme is visible in the African country Zambia, seven seas away. The government of Zambia adopted Bihar’s Chief Minister’s Cycle Scheme to promote girls’ education there. Due to this, a good effect was seen on the girl child education there.
Actually, Prof. Nishith Prakash of North Eastern University of USA, along with Adri and IGC, did research on Chief Minister Girl Cycle Scheme. When his research paper was published, the government of Zambia started working on it. Prof. Prakash gave this information during a lecture on Wheels of Change: Transforming Girls Lives with Bicycles at Adri campus on Tuesday. Prof. Prakash told that Bihar’s Chief Minister Girl Cycle Scheme has been successful in reducing the gender gap in education.
The same Bihari model intervention in Zambia reduced girls’ absenteeism by 27 percent after one year. There was a 66 per cent reduction in late school arrivals and a 35 per cent reduction in the average time taken to reach schools. With the implementation of the bicycle scheme, girls’ math test scores improved and they felt more in control of their lives. Now they can aspire to bigger things with a better self-image. There was also a desire to wait till the right age for marriage and pregnancy. Later this model was also adopted by the United Nations and implemented in six other African countries.
Prof. Prakash said that this scheme has been tremendously successful in Bihar as it has effectively addressed the major challenges faced by many adolescent girls. Challenges included the safety of girls while attending school, the inconvenient long distance from home to school, and deep-rooted cultural norms. They found that the scheme improved girls’ school attendance and reduced their dropout rate by about 40 percent. All these merits of the scheme inspired many states of the country to emulate Bihar.
Bihar’s Information Commissioner Tripurari Sharan said that CM Cycle Yojana has brought a positive change in the lives of the girls of Bihar. Due to the cycle scheme, he has got higher education and has got a suitable life partner.
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Dr. Asmita Gupta of ADRI introduced Prof. Prakash as her academic brother. The dissertations of both were completed under the supervision of a student of Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee. Pro. Prakash has been associated with Adri for many years. Dr. Gupta emphasized that this research study has been a great success story, which Bihar needed a lot. Adri’s IGC-Bihar program was aimed at creating the kind of research that can be applied in the real world.
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