In its latest outreach initiative towards the state’s diaspora, the Punjab government announced it will approach Punjabi-origin youth through its newly conceived ‘Connect to your roots’ programme.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, second, third and fourth generations of Punjabis who have never travelled to Punjab are the focus of the programme. The government plans to bring them to Punjab and showcase its culture, heritage, education system and the way of living of the people there.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh is set to launch the programme at the India House – Indian High Commission in London, on September 13. Depending on the success of this programme, the government claimed it will replicate it in North American countries – USA and Canada, Europe and other nations where Punjabis are settled in large numbers.
NRIs have played a big part in Punjab elections, with both the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Congress parties campaigning abroad and approaching the Punjabi diaspora for support in election years. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has an extensive foreign outreach programme as well, with many prominent NRI Punjabis campaigning for the party.
Now, with NRIs eligible to vote in the 2019 elections, overseas campaigns have become even more important.
“We have asked the high commission to organise a meeting of Punjabi families settled in London, and the CM will roll out the scheme to bring them back to the roots. After the launch of the scheme, the state government’s department of NRI affairs will follow up with the Punjabi families to bring them here and draw a programme for them in Punjab,” said a senior official of the state government.
Amarinder left for London today for the release of new book ‘The 36th Sikhs in the Tirah Campaign 1897-98: Saragarhi and the Defence of Samana Forts.’ Apart from his security advisor Khubi Ram, DGP (intelligence) Dinkar Gupta is also travelling with the CM to London to make security arrangements.