Bicycles are a safe way for children to transport themselves to school. Imagine that they walk sometimes three or four miles, one way to school. Imagine again that often, there is a stretch of road totally devoid of houses or people. These lonely stretches are the locations where drunks and other unsavory characters like to hang out.
On March 4, 2019, i was approached by 15 children attending a government school in TMG Kote village in Tamil Nadu state. They wanted bicycles. That request perked my interest immediately. They told me there exists hit-or-miss public transportation up to only two miles. They have to walk the rest of the way. During the rainy season from June until November, they walk, and during the very hot summer season, they walk. They spend so much time walking to and from school, it takes away from homework time and helping with chores at home. But these kids are used to walking. What they can never get used to are the day to day scary stretches they must navigate especially during the rainy season when it gets dark sooner, and there are no street lights. For children who stay after school for extra tuition, it means they are losing even more daylight time to go home.
Because of generous donations from Friends of Mother Foundation, these 15 kids got their bicycles. But there is no shortage of children who need bicycles! $99 will buy a very good, strong bicycle which includes a basket, a tire pump and tools.
From experience, i know that owning a bicycle can give a child a healthy sense of individuality, ownership, and a good sense of pride. When families here earn an average of $150/month, a bicycle can never be something they could ever afford. Please consider buying a child a bicycle. You will help in a very large way to keep them safe, and also give joy and pride to the entire family.