Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday signed an agreement with IRCTC for a special scheme that would facilitate visits of senior citizens to select pilgrimage spots across the country.

The agreement under 'Mukhyamantri Teerth-Darshan Yojna' was signed by Principal Secretary (Revenue) for Religious Trusts and Endowments, Basant Pratap Singh and IRCTC Group General Manager Virendra Singh in presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, official sources said.

Describing the moment "historic", Chouhan said, "Religion is the soul of this country. Besides physical progress and prosperity (of its people), the state government is also making efforts to ensure that senior citizens visit religious places."

'Teerth-Darshan Yojna' is an ambitious scheme of the state government. As many as 60,000 senior citizens will be sent on pilgrimage this year, Chouhan is quoted as saying by the sources.

Under the scheme, religious places of all faiths have been identified and the IRCTC will make all arrangements for the pilgrimage of senior citizens.

The first train of the pilgrims under the scheme will leave for Rameshwaram on September 3, they said.

The selected centres of pilgrimage are Badrinath, Kedarnath, Jagannath Puri, Dwarkapuri, Haridwar, Amarnath, Vaishnodevi, Shirdi, Tirupati, Ajmer Sharif, Kashi (Varanasi), Gaya, Amritsar, Rameshwaram, Sammved-Shikhar, Shravan Belgola and Velangadi Church, Nagapattnam (Tamil Nadu).


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