Photo by Nitish Kumar
Bihar is the least literate state in India, with women’s literacy as low as 33 percent. Now the government says a bicycle-reward program is turning that number around.
In the last five years Bihar has spent half of the state budget on improving school education. By its most successful scheme, providing cycles to Class 9 and 10students, it greatly reduced the drop-out rate amongst girls in the state where female literacy at 33 per cent is the lowest in the country. The first year of providing cycles in 2007-2008, brought 170,000 girls to Class 9 which has now risen to 500,000.