Many programmes to assist disadvantaged students and workers in large cities and provinces have been organised for the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday which falls on February 19.

The Ho Chi Minh City Student Assistance Centre will grant 2,700 bus tickets to disadvantaged students in flood-prone provinces as well as other areas. The city's Fatherland Front funds the programme.

The annual entertainment programme will also be held for students who are not returning home during the Tet. The centre will also help students who want to earn more income for Tet.

The city's Youth Social Work Centre last week also launched a writing contest on the difficulties and wishes of workers and students who want to return home for Tet. The contest is based in HCM City, Hanoi and the southern province of Binh Duong.

Awards of 300,000 VND (14 USD) each will be given to 1,000 students.

The contest is a part of a programme Trai Muot Duong Ve Yeu Thuong (The Way Home Full Of Love), funded by P&G's Rejoice product brand.

The programme also offers a "happy bus" for workers in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang.

The HCM City Industrial Parks and Export Processing Zone Trade Union said that 6,000 bus tickets would be presented to disadvantaged workers who will return to hometowns in all parts of the country.

Many enterprises have agreed to join the programme; they will subsidise 70 percent of ticket prices and the remaining will be paid by the union.

Moreover, 1,500 gifts worth 500,000 VND (23.8 USD) will be presented to provincial workers who do not return their hometown during Tet holidays.

Tran Cong Khanh, Chairman of the Trade Union, said the city has 16 industrial parks and export processing zones with hundreds of workers.

During Tet, workers often do not return from their hometowns, so enterprises are offering gifts to certain categories of workers.

Nguyen Thi Thu, Chairwoman of the city's Labour Federation, said the city would focus on workers who have had labour accidents and treatment at hospitals, employees who are natives of flood-affected provinces and cities, and those whose labour contracts have concluded or were negotiated illegally.

Workers at companies where the owners have fled will receive gifts worth 500,000 VND each.-VNA