The young Indian diaspora who will take part in Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will have the opportunity to travel by Indian Railways to discover various shades and features of India, its tradition and rich art and culture.
The government of India is planning rail routes for trips to places like Agra, Jaipur, Haridwar, Varanasi and Lucknow for the young Indian diaspora when they come to attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, providing them with an opportunity to connect with their roots.
Following a request by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, is preparing the rail routes. A set of trips has been prepared by IRCTC, which will connect Agra, Jaipur, Haridwar, Varanasi, Lucknow and some other cities, where the diaspora hails from.
“The idea is to enable them to discover many features of India, its tradition, rich art and culture and also many facets of contemporary India,” a senior railway official said. He also added that the list has been sent to MEA for selection. “We have sent to MEA all details related to rail tour which involve travel in semi-luxury trains, food, stay and sightseeing facilities at stopping stations. The MEA is yet to revert back and after that, we will start preparations,” stated a senior railway officer.
The government of India is looking at getting the entire programme sponsored after plans to conduct the trip on IRCTC’s most luxurious Maharajas’ Express was put on hold as the cost of the trains were very high. The rates on the Maharaja Express range from INR 460,000 for a Deluxe cabin, INR 660,000 for a Junior Suite, INR 920,000 for Suite and INR 1.6 million for Presidential Suite for an 8-night and 7-day trip.
The Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is a platform to connect with the young diaspora, which is held along with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. To connect with the young diaspora the government of India has put in several schemes and programmes. The ‘Know India Programme’ familiarises such youth with India and provides an exclusive forum for students and young professionals of Indian origin to visit the country. “In several fields, the government can engage with the Diaspora, which consists of renowned software gurus, tech wizards, businesspersons and entrepreneurs,” an MEA official said.