RAJASTHAN BECOMES FIRST STATE TO LAUNCH ALL-EXPENSES PAID PILGRIMAGE BY AIR FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has announced a programme that facilitates pilgrimage via air for nearly 1,000 senior citizens. The Deendayal Upadhyay Varisht Nagrik Teerth Yojana—the first such initiative in the country—is aimed at citizens who are over 70 years of age and cannot afford to travel by air. Applicants are picked through lottery. The first batch of pilgrims left for Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh from Jaipur airport in February. The state government had also made lodging and food arrangements for the 30 pilgrims. From the time the initiative has been announced, 110 pilgrims for Tirupati, 357 for Rameswaram, 13 for Sammed Shikhar and 225 for Jagannath Temple in Puri have been selected for this programme that intends to help senior citizens to undertake long pilgrimages, in a shorter time and in a more convenient manner.