Delhi govt’s free pilgrimage scheme for seniors to include TN’s Vailankanni Church

Last month, the Delhi Cabinet had approved the inclusion of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh in the Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana.

Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojna was approved by the Delhi Cabinet on January 9, 2018.

After adding Ayodhya to the list of pilgrimage sites under the Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has decided to include Tamil Nadu’s  Vailankanni Church to the list. The church is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites for Catholics in India.

Last month, the Delhi Cabinet had approved the inclusion of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh in the Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana.

“I have very good news for the people of Delhi. I had visited Ayodhya and paid obeisance to Shri Ram Lalla at the Janmabhoomi. The time I spent in the darbar of Lord Shri Ram engulfed me with divinity and peace throughout,” the CM said in an online briefing on Wednesday.

“As I stepped out of the premises, I had only one thought in my mind Lord, please bestow upon me the strength to help each and every citizen of this country visit Ayodhya and offer prayers in your darbar. As soon as I came back to Delhi, we revisited our Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojna and added Ayodhya to the list of routes,” the chief minister said.

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He said the first train to Ayodhya under the scheme will leave on December 3 and registration has commenced for the journey.

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“You must not worry that if there are too many applications, then yours will be left out. I will ensure everyone gets to visit. If there are more people than the capacity of the train, then we will put another train on the route. If there are still more applicants, then we will put in a third train. The train may leave after a week, but will take everyone,” he said.

Kejriwal also announced that following the demands raised by Christians, the government will soon be including  Vailankanni Church in the list of pilgrimage sites under the scheme.
“Christian brothers demanded that a place of their pilgrimage be included in this list. Today, I want to give some good news to them also. Many Christians wish to go to Vailankanni Church. We are going to include  Vailankanni Church in the list of pilgrimages very soon,” he added.

Earlier, there used to be 12 listed routes to where the people could avail the free pilgrimage under the scheme. The shrines included Puri, Dwarka, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Rameshwaram, Shirdi and Ajmer Sharif among other holy sites.

“Now, Ayodhya has been added to the list as well. One can choose any site of their preference out of these to go on pilgrimage and apply. Senior citizens of Delhi can take benefit of this scheme. Additionally, every senior citizen can take along an attendant on the pilgrimage. Till now, over 36,000 people have been on pilgrimage thanks to this scheme,” Kejriwal said.

Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojna was approved by the Delhi Cabinet on January 9, 2018.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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