As part of the state government’s annual exercise, Basic Shiksha Adhilari (BSA)-Prayagraj has kick-started the process of procuring shoes for free distribution to over 4.13 lakh children, studying in classes one to eight in government-run primary and upper primary schools of the district, said officials.
BSA-Prayagraj has issued a supply order for the shoes as per norms to a new Haryana based firm–Manjeet Plastic Industries and has also instructed the block education officers (BEOs) concerned to ensure delivery of these shoes before January 25, 2021 for quick distribution, they said. Last year also the shoes had been provided by a separate firm from Haryana, but due to complaints about quality of the shoes witnessed last year in several districts of the state, extra caution is being exercised this year by the officials in the state, officials claimed.
“The new shoe supplier, as selected by the state government, will give a 12-month warranty for the shoes that it would be supplying. Free shoe distribution will be done in the presence of the members and parents of the school management committee, following social distancing,” said BSA-Prayagraj Sanjay Kumar Kushwaha confirming the development. A team will be formed at the block level to monitor shoe distribution to children. This team will report daily to the BSA, he explained.
The BSA said socks would also be distributed to the students by January 18, 2021. Similarly, the last date for delivery of school bags that are also to be distributed free of cost to the students has been fixed as February 2, 2021, he added.
To recall, soon after changing the colour of school uniform from khaki to pink and brown in 2017, the state government had announced to give a new pair of shoes and socks to all 1.54 crore students studying in primary and upper primary schools across the state.
In October 2017, the state cabinet had approved the free distribution of shoes, socks and sweaters to students of classes 1 to 8. A sum of Rs 266 crore was earmarked for distribution of shoes/socks to the students. However, once made available to students, complaints of poor quality of the shoes had hit headlines within months. Later the state government was forced to order supplying firms to replace the poor-quality shoes at no extra cost and 12-month warranty.
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