Delhi government launches free pilgrimage scheme for senior citizens

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) The Delhi government on December 5 launched the ‘Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana’ — which offers free travel packages on five religious circuits for senior citizens from the national capital.
The scheme, approved by the Cabinet in July, was launched by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Delhi Secretariat.
“The scheme will enable 1,100 senior citizens from each Assembly constituency of Delhi per year to undertake free pilgrimage, the expenses for which will be borne by the Delhi government,” Kejriwal said, adding that a total of 77,000 pilgrims will be able to avail this facility every year.
The pilgrimage duration will be of three days and two nights and will be for any of the following routes: Delhi-Mathura-Vrindavan-Agra-Fatehpur Sikri-Delhi; Delhi-Haridwar-Rishikesh-Neelkanth-Delhi; Delhi-Ajmer-Pushkar-Delhi; Delhi-Amritsar-Wagah border-Anandpur Sahib-Delhi; or Delhi-Vaishno Devi-Jammu-Delhi.
Kejriwal said: “Our mission is to give good education to the students of Delhi, our mission is to provide better health facilities and services to all and now our mission is to provide the best transport to the people.
“Our government respects elders and senior citizens. He said that no society or country can progress until and unless it gives respects to its senior citizens.”
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Revenue and Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, Environment Minister Imran Hussain, SC-ST Welfare Minister Rajendar Pal Gautam and Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev were present at the launch event along with a number of MLAs.
Sisodia said that the “Yojana will help and promoting communal harmony and brotherhood in society”.
Under the scheme, any resident of Delhi above 60 years of age will be eligible for the scheme and those above 70 years can have one attendant.
Voter ID card and recommendation from the MLA will be mandatory. The scheme does not have any income criterion, but preference will be given to those who are from the economically weaker section. It will be given out on first-come-first-served basis.
The applicant should not be an employee of the central, state, local government or autonomous bodies. The journey will be performed through Indian Railways.

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