The Indian state of Bihar has only a 33 percent literacy rate for women -- the lowest in the country. But the state government, headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, is turning education for girls around -- with bicycles. In 2007 Kumar instituted a plan to give schoolgirls money to buy bicycles once they successfully complete Class 8 (eighth grade). With girls now able to easily get themselves to school, Bihar swelled its Class 9 enrollment by 170,000 in the program's first year. The state gave out 871,000 bikes in its first three years, and dropouts among girls have dropped …
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Jess Zimmerman is the editor of Grist List.