CUTTACK : For seven students of Sidheswar high school at Naraj, going to school was never an easy task till members of Silver City Cuttack intervened.
Coming from poor socio-economic backgrounds, the children - all students of Class-VIII - could not afford to purchase cycles and had to walk for three to four km every day to reach school. The students were recently provided bicycles by members of the charitable trust to make commuting to their schools convenient.
Formed in 2017, the trust has been carrying out several philanthropic activities including ‘Love Pedals’. Under this, they collect old and abandoned bicycles from people in different parts of Cuttack and distribute them among underprivileged students who are in need of them.
It all started with yet another initiative of theirs called ‘Digant’. “We provide free coaching classes six days in a week to 50 poor students at Naraj. This is where some students of lower grades told us about their everyday ordeal in reaching their schools. They had to walk four to five kms every day because they could only avail a bicycle under government scheme only after reaching Class-9,” said Gyana Ranjan Behera, the trust vice-president.
Considering their plight, the trust decided to launch ‘Love Pedals’ last year. The members started a drive to collect old bicycles in workable condition from people through their Facebook handle that has 1.5 lakh followers. Till now, they have collected 52 bicycles which were repaired and handed over to underprivileged students and people in the city. The trust incurs all the expenditure of repairing old and abandoned bicycles, which is around Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,800, said Behera.
The trust has around 150 members, from retired servicemen to housewives and college students to professionals, who operate mostly through WhatsApp. “While our emergency social activities are being managed through our WhatsApp group, a review meeting is held every month where our activities are analysed and pending works listed for completion. We carry out at least four events every month,” said Behera who works with a publication agency.