Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has announced Chudidar Bhagya for students, but BBMP school students have asked him to provide shoes which were promised by him in 2016.
The students studying in the BBMP schools have lost hopes in the schemes of the government or BBMP as it never reaches them on time. Last year, all the BBMP school students were supposed to get a pair of shoes each. But till now this is just on paper as the Education Department had cancelled the tender process since it had no money.
Currently, CM Siddaramaiah has announced Chudidar Bhagya for PUC students for the academic year 2017-18. However, about 11,000 students studying in BBMP schools are sceptical about this project becoming a reality as they are still waiting for the pair of shoes announced by the government to be distributed in 2016.
According to the BBMP Education Department, 11,641 children studying in nursery to high school were to benefit from the shoe scheme. "We were expecting the amount to reach the BBMP Education Department’s account so that we could finalise on inviting tenders. But since there was no money, the tender process was delayed. No children were given free shoes as promised in BBMP budget for 2016," said Shivanna, Education Officer of BBMP.
The officer added that, this year they plan to give shoes in June itself as they expect the Handicraft Association which has bagged the contract to supply the goods on time as BBMP will get Rs 1.25 crore for the purpose from the government.
However, the opposition party in BBMP expressed doubt over the issuance of schools uniforms or shoes on time. “The Siddaramaiah government is also known as ‘Bhagya’ government as they keep announcing schemes, but no one knows how far these schemes are implemented.
"A budget of Rs 2 crore was allocated to provide shoes and uniform to students in 89 primary schools, 13 primary and higher primary schools, and over 5,000 students studying in 33 high schools have been cheated by the BBMP and government. In a few days, the fresh academic year will begin, and still, the BBMP has not made arrangements to provide shoes. This shows a lack of commitment of the government and BBMP towards BBMP schools," said, Umesh Shetty, Opposition Party Leader in BBMP council.
Thimmanna K, a student who passed out from BBMP school from Gangenahalli says, he has cleared his board exam, and in few days he will go to college, but he does not have an ounce of hope in getting any freebies announced by BBMP or the government as it has never reached on time so far.
“I attended school with torn shoes and also completed my SSLC. Now that I am out of school giving any shoes to me will not make any sense. The BBMP at least should not cheat my immediate juniors in this regard,” he said.
Ratnaja, another BBMP student from Srirampuram who passed this year’s board exam, says, whenever BBMP officials came to school for inspection, they promised to give freebies announced in the Budget. But those were just empty promises. “My relatives could not see me going to school with torn footwear. Hence they gifted me a pair of shoes. Had I continued to wait for the BBMP to fulfil its promise, I would have walked into examination hall barefoot,” she said.