Madhya Pradesh has become the first state to provide the air travel facility to senior citizens for pilgrimage, as 32 people flew from Bhopal to Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh today.
The 32 senior citizens are travelling under the state’s Mukhyamantri Tirth-Darshan Yojana, which was flagged off by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj Airport today morning.
The group comprises of 24 men and eight women.
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.
“It’s a dream for every person to fly by air. Everybody wishes to travel by air at least once in his lifetime. Our dream is being fulfilled,” 72-year-old Ram Singh Kushwaha tells NDTV.
Another traveller, Ramdas, says that this is the first time he is going outside the state.
After seeing off the travellers, the Chief Minister said that he has fulfilled a resolution today. “A resolution has been fulfilled today. A dream has come true. Elderly people like my parents are going on pilgrimage by airplane,” he said.
The Mukhyamantri Teerth-Darshan Yojana scheme was launched by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime in 2012 and senior citizens were being sent for pilgrimage free of cost by special trains. This is the first time that people have been flown out by air. So far, 7.82 lakh senior citizens have availed the benefit of the pilgrimage scheme.
Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh are scheduled to be held later this year and the ruling BJP government is attempting to sway different sections of citizens by providing new sops.