Bhopal : As many as 32 elderly pilgrims on Sunday were sent to Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj in a special flight under ‘Mukhyamantri Teerth Darshan Yojana’.
The scheme was introduced in June 2012, but it is for the first time that pilgrims were sent for the pilgrimage on a flight.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan flagged off the airbus from Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj airport. He met the pilgrims one by one and sought their blessings. Chouhan was seen touching the feet of senior citizens and also went inside the airbus before flagging it off.
Some pilgrims were also seen hailing CM Shivraj for providing airbus facility to them for the pilgrimage. “A resolution has been fulfilled today, a dream has come true. Elderly people like my parents are going on pilgrimage by aeroplane,” Chouhan said after flagging off IndiGo6E flight from Bhopal airport.
Notably, Chouhan had announced the airbus facility for pilgrimage in February this year, according to which, eligible beneficiaries from 25 districts (out of the total 52 in the state) will be taken on pilgrimages to various destinations by aeroplanes between May 21 and July 19.
Under this scheme, eligible senior citizens above 60 years of age can visit any of the listed pilgrimage places on government expenses. Till now, the beneficiaries used to be taken to various places of religious worship by trains. But now, air travel was also added to it.
Interestingly, this comes at the time when the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh are just around six months away. The elections to the 230-member Assembly in Madhya Pradesh are scheduled by the end of this year.
BJP leader and Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia congratulated the people of Madhya Pradesh for availing air service introduced by the state government for pilgrimage. “It is the BJP government under whose leadership the spiritual renaissance in the country is getting a new force,” Scindia posted a message on his official Twitter handle.