Rajasthan government on 13 June 2013 signed MoU with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd for a scheme as per which it will bear all the expenses for senior citizens to go on select pilgrimages. The scheme was already announced by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the 2013-14 budget.
The First of the Scheme is open to 25000 applicants wherein eleven pilgrimage centres has been selected. The last date for submission of Application 1 July 2013 and the Applicants have to fill up a form available at all divisional headquarters in the state. The pilgrim destination which are covered under the scheme are Puri, Gaya, Rameswaram, Vaishno Devi, Tirupati, Varanasi, Amritsar, Dwarkapuri, Bihar Sharif, Shirdi.
There will be a lottery system to identify the final beneficiaries in case the number of applicants exceeds 25000.
The trip duration will be of five to eight days and persons selected can visit any one pilgrimage centre out of those designated as part of the scheme.
At every divisional headquarters special trains will be available to carry thousand people at a time. The arrangement of meals, accommodation and road travel would be made by the IRCTC for those availing the scheme.
There is also a provision to take attendant for people above 65 years of while an attendant will be provided by the state government for every group of 25 people.
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