AshokGehlot

1.35 Crore Woman Gets Smartphones – The New Indian Express

Express News Service

Jaipur: Amid the controversy over the culture of ‘Rewari’ or free gifts, the Rajasthan government is set to give 1.35 crore free smartphones to women in the state on the fourth anniversary of the Ashok Gilot government on 17 December.

The mobile phones will be distributed to female heads of household who are part of the health scheme called Chiranjeevi Yojna. The phone will be equipped with a back cover, charger and data cable bearing the Gehlot Government logo. The special feature is that only the government-activated SIM will work on the free smartphones.

Free smartphones will cost the state Rs 12,000 crore in three years. The government claims the plan is to empower women, but critics see it as a step to reach female voters ahead of General Assembly elections due next year.

Beneficiaries will get free internet access for three years. The price of each mobile is said to be around Rs 9,500 and the state government has allocated Rs 12,000 crore to the scheme. Sources say that if the state government gets the smartphone shipment on time, beneficiaries will start getting it from the end of this month.

Under Chiranjeevi Yojana, the government provides a health insurance facility of Rs 10,000 per family and it is necessary to have an Aadhaar card to be linked to a mobile phone number. The smartphones will be distributed in special camps where Airtel, Jio and BSNL officials will activate the SIM cards.

Government officials said that three companies were chosen to supply smartphones because only one company could meet the demand. The phones will be from Jio, Samsung and Nokia, and 4GB of free data will be available on phones up to 20GB each month. In addition, 50 free SMS messages per day and free calling facilities will be provided, officials said.

Under the scheme, Jan Soochna, E-Mitra, E-Dharti and Raj Sampark apps have been developed and will be installed on smartphones. Chief Secretary Akhil Arora said the government has trained four women from self-help groups – known as Digital Sakhis – in each village to teach most beneficiaries how to use smartphones.

The government will also put wallpapers on these phones giving details of its plans that cell phone carriers will not be able to change. Also, applications that will be installed by the government cannot be deleted. The government will also send their blueprints wallpapers and a special app will be installed for every women related issue.

The state government has trained Digital Sakhis
Chief Secretary Akhil Arora said the government has trained four women from self-help groups – known as Digital Sakhis – in each village to teach most beneficiaries how to use smartphones. The phones will be from Jio, Samsung and Nokia, and 4GB of free data will be available on phones up to 20GB each month. In addition, 50 free SMS messages per day and free calling facilities will be provided, officials said