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Velankanni Church to be included under Delhi Govt’s free pilgrimage scheme soon: Kejriwal

The scheme provides government assistance to the residents of Delhi, in specific the persons belonging to the economically weaker section of the society.

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New Delhi: Holy shrine of Velankanni in Tamil Nadu will soon be included under the Delhi government’s free pilgrimage scheme while the first train for Ayodhya darshan organised by the state government will leave on December 3, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Wednesday.

“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 Velankanni Church. We are going to include Velankanni Church in the list of pilgrimage very soon and you will also be able to go on pilgrimage as per your wish,” the minister said during a press briefing.

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“I am pleased to inform everyone that the first train to Ayodhya under this scheme will leave on December 3. The registration for the same has been started and eligible people willing to visit Ayodhya can register by visiting our Delhi government e-district portal,” he announced.

Ensuring that no one will be left out of visiting Ayodhya, Kejriwal asked people not to hesitate and submit applications without worry.

“You must not worry that if there are too many applications. 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. Therefore, everyone should apply for the darshan of Shri Ram Lalla. I genuinely want as many people as possible to visit Ayodhya Ji,” he added.

The free pilgrimage is provided to the senior citizens of Delhi under Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana since 2018 on 13 routes including Puri, Dwarka, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Rameshwaram, Shirdi and Ajmer Sharif etc.

Ayodhya is the latest addition to the list announced by Kejriwal last month.

“Senior citizens of Delhi can take benefit of this scheme. Additionally, every senior citizen can take along an attendant with them on the pilgrimage. Till now, over 36,000 people have been on pilgrimage thanks to this scheme,” the CM informed.

The scheme provides government assistance to the residents of Delhi, in specific the persons belonging to the economically weaker section of the society.

The Delhi Government facilitates these tours through the IRCTC, offering AC Trains and AC hotel rooms to the devotees. The entire expense of leaving from home until returning – which includes travelling by air-conditioned trains, proper AC hotel stays, meals, local travel and more – is borne by the Delhi Government. An insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh is also provided to look after the devotees.

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