Uttarakhand government has set itself a target of taking at least 25,000 elderly people on Char Dham yatra for free this year.
Announcing this at a meeting with tourism and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam officials here, Chief Minister Harish Rawat said the scheme to take the elderly on a free pilgrimage to any of the four famous Himalayan shrines should not just be a formality.
“Beneficiaries of the scheme must feel they are being taken care of properly. It should not just be a formality. Better buses equipped with all facilities should be used for the scheme,” Rawat said.
He also said that elderly couples should be allowed to undertake the journey together even if one of the spouses is less than 65 years of age.
He said 50 per cent concession be given to one personal attendant accompanying people above 70 years on the yatra.
Applicants should be chosen on a first-come-first-served basis, Rawat said.
Named ‘Mere Bujurg Mere Teerth’ (My elderly, my pilgrimage) the unique scheme was launched last year by the Chief Minister for people above 65 years of age in the state.