Chhattisgarh, where elections are due later this year, launched on Monday a programme called “Mobile Tihar (Mobile Festival)” that aims to distribute 5 million free smartphones among village women, students and the poor living in urban areas.
The programme is part of the Chhattisgarh government's ambitious scheme Sanchar Kranti Yojana (SKY). CM Raman Singh’s government has made a provision of Rs 5.2 billion in the 2018-19 budgetary outlay for the scheme.
“The state will enter a new era of digital development and will be henceforth known as ‘Smart Chhattisgarh’,” Chief Minister Singh said after launching the programme in state capital Raipur.
CM Singh also dedicated to the state 556 mobile towers that have been set up to enhance connectivity with the increasing number of users.
The smartphone “festival” will be organised at district, block and tehsil levels to distribute the mobile sets.
Under the programme, 460,000 students of Chhattisgarh's colleges and 4 million women staying in rural areas will be given smartphones in the next four months. Around 500,000 families living below the poverty line in urban areas will also benefit from the scheme.