The Punjab Congress digital initiative – Captain Smart Connect - closed its second phase on Saturday with a remarkable 30 lakh registrations.The landmark initiative, launched on November 20 by Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh with the aim to empower the youth of Punjab by digitally connecting them with the world, evoked exceptional response and had to be extended on popular demand.The scheme underlined Captain Amarinder’s commitment to providing 50 lakh smartphones with free data and calling facility to youth between the age of 18 -35 within the first 100 days of the formation of his government. An allocation of Rs 4000-5000 crores would be made over a 5-year period from the state budget for the implementation of the scheme.The first phase of the scheme, from November 20 to 30, saw 20 lakh people register for their free smartphones.
The overwhelming response and unprecedented demand led to the extension of the registration deadline by 10 days, till December 10.Of the 30 lakh registrations, Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar, Bathinda reported the maximum number of registrations. Notably, 83% of these registrations came from people between the ages of 18 and 25 years, and 16% between 26 and 35.In the last 20 days of the campaign, Congress workers and volunteers set up multiple desks in each of Punjab 117 halkas to facilitate registrations on the ground. About 40 Punjab Congress Expresses were used as mobile registration desks.The exceptional response to the scheme comes as a double bonanza for the party, which has kicked off another mega campaign - Har Ghar ton Ikk Captain (HGC) – Captain Amarinder Singh’s flagship campaign to address the twin problems of the youth of Punjab, namely drugs, and unemployment – which is all set for another wave of massive enrolment drive on the ground.The response to both the schemes underlines the tremendous popularity of Captain Amarinder Singh among the youth.