‘Feel at home’ while connecting with roots option for overseas Indians
LUCKNOW:The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to provide the option of ‘homestay’ to overseas Indians coming to attend the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) convention in Varanasi from January 21 to 23, 2019.
About 7,000 Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) are expected to attend the PBD convention on ‘Role of Indian Diaspora in Building New India’ and also reconnect with their roots.
“As making arrangements for such a large gathering could be a cumbersome task for the authorities, keeping in view the limited availability of quality accommodation, the ‘homestay’ option has come in handy,” said a senior state government officer.
Under this option, the guests will stay with families to get a feel of local hospitality and culture.
The state government is mobilizing local people to make the guests feel at home as ‘honoured guests’ (without any charges) during their stay in the ancient temple town.
UNDER THIS OPTION, THE GUESTS WILL STAY WITH FAMILIES TO GET A FEEL OF LOCAL HOSPITALITY AND CULTURE
“The people of Kashi are coming forward in large numbers offering their houses for the ‘Pravasi’ guests. We understand about 640 participants have already opted for the ‘homestay’ in Varanasi. Besides making reservation in quality hotels, we are also making arrangements for their stay in hostels. Swiss cottages will also be set up to accommodate the guests,” said additional chief secretary (tourism) Avnish Awasthi.
CM Yogi Adityanath has urged the people to come forward to uphold the spirit of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ and open their houses for the guests.
“Yes, the chief minister presided over a meeting in Varanasi last month and urged local people to host the guests at their houses. The people from all walks of life had attended the meeting and agreed to be part of the major event being organized for the first time in the state. The ‘homestay’ option will be available to the participants till the time the registration process is open i. e. November 15, 2018,” said divisional commissioner, Varanasi, Deepak Agarwal.
A youth PBD convention and UP PBD is also being organised on January 21. The guests will also be taken to Kumbh Mela in Allahabad for a holy dip on January 24 and subsequently by train to New Delhi to watch the Republic Day parade on January 26.
UP is the partner-state in the convention that the union ministry for external affairs is organizing.
▪ The countdown to the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention began in Kashi with blowing of conch at Assi Ghat on Saturday evening.