Whatever novel mode of transportation is introduced day by day, children always share a soft spot for bicycles. One could see little boys and girls fighting each other to have a look and touch the bicycles displayed at BEM Higher Secondary School, Mananchira, on Tuesday as part of a cycle distribution programme of the Calicut City Service Cooperative Bank.

The bank launched a one-of-its-kind scheme in which bicycles are provided to students of city schools upon interest-free loans. The students are to pay back the loan only in two years, and the only guarantee the bank seeks is that of their mothers.

The bicycle distribution was inaugurated by N. Shanker Reddy, ADGP (North Zone).

Bank director N. Subhash Babu, in his introductory speech, said the bank had many objectives in providing cycles to students, the first and foremost being to promote cycling among the public.

“We want to make cycling a part of our culture. The bank is making a statement against loan sharks by providing interest-free loans to children. This would, in turn, develop a banking culture among the students.

Besides, cycling is a good exercise and is pollution free. It would provide a relief to the travel woes of students to some extend,” he said and urged the students to pay back the loans diligently and to follow the traffic rules.

The initial plan of the bank was to distribute 50,000 bicycles, but the idea of so many children getting into the busy roads with cycles was not welcomed by the traffic police and hence the number has been reduced to 5,000. As of now, the bank has received 700 loan applications.

Thirty cycles were distributed at the function on Tuesday. Besides, three cycles were provided free of cost to deserving students by a prominent cycle company.

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