Jagdalpur, July 26: President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Chhattisgarh government's 'Sanchar Kranti Yojna' here, under which free smartphones will be distributed to 50 lakh people in the state.
He also dedicated to the nation a new hospital building of the Late Baliram Kashyap Memorial Medical College in Dimrapal village, located near Jagdalpur, around 300 km from the state capital of Raipur. After launching the scheme, the President distributed smartphones to two women beneficiaries and a college student.
"The scheme will ensure that the ongoing developmental activities attain new heights in the region and the state," he said. Smartphones will be distributed over the next two months to people across the state, where Assembly elections are due later this year.
The scheme would benefit 45 lakh women belonging to poor families and five lakh college students, Kovind added. The 4G phones will have an application named 'Goth', which in local dialect means "to talk", through which beneficiaries will be updated about various public welfare schemes of the state and the Centre.
It will also provide information on schemes pertaining to agriculture, skill development, employment, education and self-help groups, he said. The smartphone distribution will take place in two phases.
In the first phase, phones will be distributed to beneficiaries in the state's urban areas from July 30 to August 16, and in the next, rural areas will be covered from August 17 to September 22.
The new Late Baliram Kashyap Memorial Medical College hospital building, with a capacity of 500 beds, will have 75 specialist doctors and 376 paramedical staff.
The hospital is significant for security forces involved in anti-Naxal operations in the region. Earlier, injured personnel had to be shifted to Raipur, which is around 300 km from here, for quality treatment.