CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday condemned the Congress government for discontinuing the 'Mai Bhago Vidhya' scheme under which bicycles were distributed to girl students studying in secondary and higher secondary government schools in the state.
In a statement here, former Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) Pawan Kumar Tinu said that it was shocking that the Congress government had discontinued the Mai Bhago scheme which was started in 2011-12 by the SAD-BJP government.
He said that under this scheme the bicycles were first given to students of Class XI and XII to encourage them to continue studies and reduce school dropout rates and was later expanded to cover all girl students of Class IX and X.
Tinu said that the Congress government was now discriminating against girl students like it had done with each and every section of society by first limiting the scheme to only class nine girl students and then failing to deliver bicycles to even these children.
He said that even though half of the academic session was over, the Congress government had failed to release Rs 30 crore for the scheme which aimed to give one lakh bicycles to girl students.
Stating that this would have a serious effect on girl child education in Punjab, the Akali leader said earlier when the Congress government had denied Scheduled Caste scholarship to Dalit students, the enrollment of SC students had come down from three lakh to two lakh in the state.
Tinu said this was not the first time the Congress government had betrayed the youth. He said two and a half years had passed and the government had still not even started the implementation of it's much-hyped "Ghar Ghar Naukri" scheme.
"Unemployed youth are not being given unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month as promised. They are also being cheated in the name of 'job melas' which have delivered nothing," he said.
Asserting that the State was paying a heavy price for this betrayal, Tinu said two highly qualified youth had already committed suicide after they failed to get government jobs under the Congress regime.
He said the state of affairs was such that retired 'Patwaris' were being rehired but educated youth were not being recruited in their place. "The government has even failed to regularize 27,000 contractual employees".
Tinu said the SAD would launch a comprehensive campaign against the discrimination being meted out to the youth to wake up the Congress government from its slumber and force it to implement the promises made to the youth.