Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Flagging off a batch of 32 senior citizens on pilgrimage to Prayagraj from Bhopal via flight under the 'Mukhya Mantri Tirath Yatra Yojana' on Sunday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the government has made such arrangements that even those wearing slippers will be able to travel by air. Making arrangements for pilgrimage by plane under the Mukhyamantri Tirth-Darshan Yojana is an attempt to make the Prime Minister’s vision come true, said Chouhan.
The scheme was introduced in June 2012.The scheme was launched by the BJP regime in 2012 and senior citizens were being sent for pilgrimage free of cost by special trains but it is for the first time that pilgrims were sent for the pilgrimage on a flight.These yatras will continue on a regular basis. So far 7.82 lakh elderly people have taken on pilgrimage by train under the scheme. The sequence of pilgrimages by plane will continue.
Along with Prayagraj, such teerath yatras will continue to be organized to Shirdi, Mathura-Vrindavan, Gangasagar by plane, he added. The scheme was introduced in June 2012, but it is for the first time that pilgrims were sent for the pilgrimage on a flight.Culture minister Usha Thakur, public health and family welfare minister Dr. Prabhuram Chowdhary, medical education minister Vishwas Sarang, Ex-Protem Speaker and MLA Rameshwar Sharma, Bhopal Mayor Malti Rai and other representatives and officers were present. Earlier, Chouhan welcomed the elderly pilgrims by garlanding them. He also posed for a group picture with the pilgrims amidst beating drums.
Shivraj plays the role of son
Beaming with joy 72-year-old Siya Kumari Sharma, Bairagarh resident, said that she could not have dreamt to go on a pilgrimage by plane and that too to Prayagraj. “I do not have any child by CM Sivraj Singh Chouhan played the role of my son. When corporator Kusum Chaturvedi informed me about the scheme and got my form filled, my happiness knew no bounds,” said the woman.
‘Pilgrimage by plane unthinkable for a poor farmer’
A 72-year-old Umesh Singh Nagar, of village Harrakheda Berasia said that an ordinary farmer like him could not even imagine that he would ever go on a pilgrimage sitting in a plane. “It’s a golden dream for me and CM has fulfilled it,” he added.
2nd batch of pilgrims to leave for Shirdi tomorrow
Under the first phase of the air travel facility, senior citizens from MP will travel by air in different batches till July this year from various airports of the state. The first batch of pilgrims flew from Bhopal to Prayagraj on Sunday. In the same sequence, on May 23 pilgrims of Agar-Malwa district will leave from Indore airport for Shirdi.
On May 25, pilgrims of Betul district will leave from Bhopal airport via Agra airport for Mathura-Vrindavan. On May 26, pilgrims of Dewas will leave from Indore airport for Shirdi, and on June 3 pilgrims of Khandwa from Indore airport via Kolkata for Gangasagar. A help centre has been set up at the airport for the convenience of the passengers.