The Punjab Cabinet on Friday approved the "Connect with Your Roots" (CYR) programme to reach out to youngsters of Punjabi origin settled in other countries.
The programme, aimed at young NRIs, whose parents, grandparents or great grandparents are settled abroad, will seek to connect them with their ancestral roots and glorious cultural heritage of Punjab, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office said here.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who had announced the programme during his recent visit to London, briefed the Cabinet about the objective behind the scheme, aimed at creating awareness among the NRI youth about the real situation prevailing on the ground in Punjab.
"The scheme, initiated by the NRIs Affairs Department on the directives of the Chief Minister, would be open to young boys and girls in the age group of 16-22, and facilitate their learning of their family background and the culture to which they belong, and also to build an emotional bonding with the country of their roots," the spokesperson said.
"The first group of such youngsters is expected around January 9, 2018, to coincide with the NRI Day and each group would comprise 15 youths."
The Chief Minister said that following the cabinet approval, he will now write to the ambassadors and high commissioners of various countries, including the UK, Australia and Canada, to apprise them about the scheme and invite groups from these nations.
In the long run, the programme would enhance the engagement of NRIs, who could be a vital engine in Punjab's progress, with the state.
The programme would provide the youngsters with an opportunity to visit their native place or the town where their parents or grandparents were born, or the place where they spent their childhood.
It will also give them a chance to learn and speak their native language, and see historical places, Amarinder Singh said.