Bhubaneswar: Orissa on Tuesday decided to distribute free bicycles to Class 10 girl students with an aim to improve the state`s female literacy rate which has remained considerably low compared to the national average.
"All girl students studying in Class 10 in government and government-aided schools will be given free bicycles," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here told reporters announcing his government`s decision.
Patnaik also said the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe male students studying in Class 10 in government and government-aided schools will also given the same facility.
He said the bicycles will be distributed from the coming academic season this year and about 177,000 students will benefit from it. The female literacy rate in Orissa is 50.97 percent against the national average of 54.28 percent.