Ayodhya included in Delhi Govt free pilgrimage scheme: Kejriwal

NEW DELHI, Oct 27:
The Delhi Cabinet on Wednesday approved the inclusion of Ayodhya in its free pilgrimage scheme for the elderly, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced.
Kejriwal had on Tuesday offered prayers at the Ram Janambhoomi site in Ayodhya.
“I had the privilege of visiting Shri Ram Lalla in Ayodhya yesterday. All I prayed for there was to channelise all my strength and resources in making it possible for as many people to visit Ram Lalla in Ayodhya as I can. I wish to be the Shravan Kumar for the elderly and help them fulfil their ardent yearning to complete their Tirth Yatra,” he said.
Under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Teerath Yatra Yojna’, the Delhi government bears complete expenditure on free pilgrimage of senior citizens to places like Jagganath Puri, Rameshwaram, Shirdi, Mathura, Haridwar, Tirupati among others, he said.
Over 35,000 senior citizens have undertaken pilgrimage under the scheme.
Due to COVID-19, the scheme was halted for the last one-and-a-half years, but now instructions have been issued to resume it and the trains for various destinations are expected to be started in the next one month, the chief minister said.
The entire expense of leaving from home until returning which includes travelling by air conditioned trains, proper AC hotel stays, meals, local travel and more is borne by the Delhi government. The elderly also have a provision to take someone young as an attendant to help them along their journey, for whom the expenses are covered as well, he said.
The Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojna was approved by the Delhi Cabinet on January 9, 2018.
Any citizen from the national capital who is aged 60 years or more can avail the scheme after acquiring a certificate from their local MLA, stating that they live in the legislator’s constituency.
One attendant aged 21 years or more can accompany each traveller. Twelve Yatra routes are operative at present. Four-day long Delhi-Ayodhya-Delhi trip will be 13th in the list.
Eligible people have to apply online to benefit from this scheme. It can also be applied online by visiting the office of the divisional commissioner, the office of the MLA of the area, or the office of the Tirth Yatra Committee. Candidates are selected by a draw.