By Kaveri Gupta and Bharath Manjesh
Hundred of 4000 planned scooters for the disabled given away.
Saviruchi mobile cantees that will provide inexpensive food were kicked off and a hundred, of 4000 planned, retro-fitted scooters for the disabled were given away by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at the Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday.
Saviruchi mobile canteens are vans that will provide food at low prices and will hit the roads in all district headquarters, similar to the Indira canteens launched last year.
The event was attended by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Minister for Women, Umashri, State Home Minister, Ramalinga Reddy, and Karnataka State Women’s Development Corporation, Bharathi Shankar.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, “Stree Shakti Sanghas in all Zilla Kendras (district headquarters) will run these vans.” The vans are Mahindra Supro Maxitruck T2s modified to hold utensils, gas stoves, and provisions.
Women minister, Umashree, said nutrition will be a focus in the food offered in the mobile canteens.
Self-help group federations, Stree Shakti Sangha, from each district will be given a soft loan of ten lakh rupees. Stree Shakti Sangha aims to pay off the loans over two years.
The retro-fitted scooters have several features tailored to make the ride smooth for the disabled rider. Apart from side-wheels, they have specially-designed suspension to absorbs shocks and external fuel system so that the rider doesn’t have to get off to fuel up. The model of the scooter is Hero Duet priced a little over Rs. 57, 700 on-road in Bangalore for the base model.
Santhosh K, a resident of Bangalore and a beneficiary of the scheme said, “I heard of this scheme through a friend at work. I tried it out and liked it. So, I applied online. This will be convenient to commute to work.”
The government has tied up with automobile dealers for this initiative. Rajan B S, Managing Director, Sai hero, said “The CM had promised 4000 scooters in his budget for this year. We took part in the tender process and after three tries we got the order as we offered the lowest price. The tender amount was Rs. 65000 per scooter including cost of registration, insurance, fitments, and transportation.”
This comes in the lead up to the state assembly elections which are two months away.