Staying connected, especially in trying times like these, has gotten increasingly important. With increasing cases all over the nation, and loved ones separated due to lockdown mandates and obstruction in interstate movement, reaching out to loved ones through cell phones has turned out to be the only mode at the moment. However, with job losses being rampant and people having to dig in on savings, getting a mobile device is the least of people’s concerns.

Understanding the plight of those stuck in dire situations, the government of Odisha launched the Odisha Free Smartphone yojana – a scheme aimed to deliver free smartphones to those who are counted eligible as per the criteria mentioned.

Need for the scheme

The Free Smartphone scheme comes as a need of the hour as people all over the Odisha not only wish to stay connected to their loved ones spread across the nation during these trying times, but there are also students who would have to carry out academics through devices and have not had access to them all this while – thereby leading to loss at an academic level.

Salient features of the Free Smartphone Yojana 2020

Earlier versions of the same scheme were launched where only the male farmers were entitled to availing a free cell phone. With changing times, the Odisha government has grown cognizant of the needs of female farmers as well, and has therefore extended the benefits of the scheme to female farmers as well. Female farmers, with the help of these new smart devices, are now able to get connected to 4G connectivity and stay abreast with latest updates on farming.

Other salient features include:

  1. Women empowerment can now be achieved on a broader scale across Odisha. The scheme’s main aim was to enable women farmers so as to receive tips from the agricultural department.
  2. Women farmers get to utilize these smartphones to ensure better crop productivity and higher produce depending on the nature of soil and its fertility
  3. All weather related information is now available on smartphones, and farmers can now make use of this information with utmost ease
  4. The scheme also aimed to increase the number of women farmers in the state as the number of female farmers, due to lack of opportunities and help, were diminishing.

Free smartphone Yojana application

In order to avail the benefits of the scheme, the farmers had to make online registration to get an android based phone. These phones provide information regarding crop loans schemes as well, so that in the face of adversity, farmers can now reach out to the right help, instead of surmounting massive loans through exploitative money-lenders, landlords, etc.

Though the online form for the scheme has not been made active yet, if you are a farmer in Odisha, you can reach out to your nearest CSC kendra and apply for the scheme offline.

You would be asked to procure basic identification and photo ID proofs, after which you would be considered eligible for the benefits of the scheme.

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