The first train under Madhya Pradesh government’s novel scheme Mukhyamantri Teerth-Darshan Yojna left for Rameshwaram from Habibganj railway station here today. The train was formally flagged off by former Deputy Prime Minister and senior leader Shri Lal Krishna Advani.
Addressing pilgrims before sending them off on the journey, Shri Lal Krishna Advani said that those in power should set ideals like Shri Ram. They should pave way for everyone’s welfare by introducing novel programmes. Shri Advani said that he has participated in number of functions in his life, but this is a function where he is having a divine experience. Paying respect towards saints and pilgrims present on the occasion, he wished for success of pilgrims’ journey. He said that respect to all religions is basic tenet of Indian culture and Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan has presented its apt example by including sacred places of all the religions in Mukhyamantri Teerth-Darshan Yojna.
Chief Minister Shri Chouhan
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced that senior citizens will also be covered under Deendayal Antyodaya Upchar Yojna. Besides this, they will also be provided assistance from Rajya Beemari Sahayata Yojna in case of serious illness. Old age homes will be opened in all the districts, which will be run by the State Government. A strict law will be implemented in the state under which a person ignoring parents will be punished with three months’ imprisonment. Shri Chouhan said that a commission is considering schemes aiming at welfare of senior citizens.
The Chief Minister said that another of his resolves has taken a concrete shape with launch of Mukhyamantri Teerth-Darshan Yojna. Senior citizens deserve all respect and we owe existence to them. Mukhyamantri Teerth-Darshan Yojna is a humble offering at their feet. He said that a train will leave every week under the scheme. Over 60 thousand senior citizens will be sent to pilgrimage till March-end. If required, more persons will be extended benefit of the scheme. Pilgrims will be provided food, breakfast and other facilities during journey. Ministers and Chairpersons of corporations and boards will also accompany senior citizens to look after their comfort.
On the occasion, Chief Minister Shri Chouhan felicitated all the saints and representatives of various religions with shawls, coconuts and garlands.
Peethadheeshwar of Kamadgiri Peeth Swami Ram Swaroopananda Ramandacharya guided pilgrims about their conduct during pilgrimage and journey.
Throwing light in detail on salient features of the scheme, Culture Minister Shri Laxmikant Sharma said that Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan has launched several such schemes, which are not only being lauded in entire but are also being emulated by several states. Member of Parliament and former Chief Minister Shri Kailash Joshi and Rajya Sabha member Shri Prabhat Jha also expressed their views.
Earlier, priests of Shri Mahakaleshwar temple chanted Vedic hymns. Famous Bhajan singher Shri Anup Jalota recited melodious Bhajans. Madhya Pradesh Gaan was also recited.
Members of the cabinet, office-bearers of corporations and boards, pilgrims and a large number of people were present on the occasion.