Bhubaneswar: Around 1,000 senior citizens from southern parts of Odisha today boarded a special train to Tirupati and Vellore under Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana from Berhampur railway station.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik flagged off the pilgrimage journey scheme through a video conferencing programme at the state secretariat here today. He wished for a happy and safe journey apart from conveying his New Year wish to the senior citizens.
The pilgrims commenced the journey on a special train at Berhampur Railway Station where Tourism & Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda was present.
Expressing a big gratitude to Patnaik for the scheme, one of the pilgrims said that even his children had not taken him on the pilgrimage but he is now visiting the holy places like Tirupati and Vellore because of Naveen Patnaik .
Another elderly person also thanked Patnaik for fulfilling his 35-year dream to visit Tirupati.
Earlier, the senior citizens had visited Allahabad, Banaras, Haridwar, Pushkar and Ajmer under Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana, which was launched in 2016 by BJD government in Odisha.