‘Feel at home’ while con­nect­ing with roots op­tion for over­seas In­di­ans

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Front Page - Umesh Raghu­van­shi uraghu­van­shi@hin­dus­tan­times.com ▪

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.

HT PHOTO

▪ The count­down to the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Di­vas con­ven­tion be­gan in Kashi with blow­ing of conch at Assi Ghat on Satur­day evening.

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