In a press release today, the Tamil Nadu government said that the government led by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was considering people belonging to all sections as equals and has been implementing various schemes to ensure that all of them get an equal opportunity.
During her election campaign, she had promised that her government would provide subsidy for Christians to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and enable Hindu pilgrims to visit Manasarovar in China and Muktinath in Nepal.
To fulfill her poll promise, Ms Jayalalithaa had announced providing assistance to 500 Christains to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
In line with that announcement, Ms Jayalalithaa today ordered government subsidy to 500 Hindus to undertake pilgrimage. This includes 250 persons selected by Indian External Affairs Department to go on pilgrimage to Manasarovar and 250 Hindus to go on pilgrimage to Mukthinath, one of the 108 Vaishnavite shrines.
Of the one lakh rupees estimated per individual for air travel from Chennai to Manasarovar in China, the state government will bear 40,000 rupees and of the 25,000 rupees cost towards the train travel to Muktinath, the state government will bear 10,000 rupees. In total, Ms Jayalalithaa has allocated 1 crore rupees for 250 persons who visit Manasarovar and 25 lakh rupees to 250 persons who visit Muktinath.
The selection of pilgrims will be done by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment department from October 15th by issuing advertisements in dailies. The department will select the beneficiaries under relevant guidelines. This step taken by the government will help those especially in an economically backward condition to undertake pilgrimage to Manasarovar and Mukthinath.