What is the scheme?
The Chhattisgarh government has announced a new scheme to facilitate the annual pilgrimage of 20,000 people from the state to Ayodhya, where the Ram temple is being constructed. The scheme, named ‘Shri Ramlala Darshan (Ayodhya Dham)’, will provide free train travel for those who are medically fit and belong to the age group of 18 to 75 years. The scheme will be implemented by the Chhattisgarh Tourism Board in collaboration with the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
How will the pilgrims be selected?
A committee will be formed under the collector in each district to select the eligible pilgrims for the scheme. The first leg of the selection will involve choosing people above 55 years of age. The committee will also consider other factors such as financial status, health condition, and availability of seats.
Where can the pilgrims board the special train?
The pilgrims can board the special train from four stations in Chhattisgarh: Raipur, Durg, Raigarh, and Ambikapur. The main destination of the 900-km tour will be Ayodhya, where they will visit the Ram temple and participate in various religious activities. During their journey, they will also make a night halt in Varanasi, where they will visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple and take part in the Ganga Aarti.
What are the benefits of this scheme?
The scheme aims to provide an affordable and convenient option for those who want to go for darshan of Lord Ram at Ayodhya temple. It also fulfills one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promises during the 2023 assembly elections. The scheme is expected to boost tourism and pilgrimage in Chhattisgarh and generate revenue for both state and central governments.
What are some other initiatives taken by Chhattisgarh government?
Apart from this scheme, Chhattisgarh government has also taken several other initiatives to promote development and welfare in various sectors. Some of them are:
- Declaring January 22 as a ‘dry day’ to mark the consecration of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
- Appointing Prafull Bharat as new Advocate General (AG) after former AG Satish Chandra Verma resigned.
- Launching a ‘Chhattisgarh Digital Mission’ to provide digital services to citizens across various domains.
- Implementing a ‘Mukhyamantri Gram Sadak Yojana’ to improve road connectivity in rural areas.
- Introducing a ‘Mukhyamantri Kisan Samman Nidhi’ to provide financial assistance to farmers.