Uttar Pradesh Minister of State with Independent Charge for Rural Development and Medical Health, Dr Mahendra Singh called on Chief Minister Pema Khandu at the latter’s office here on Thursday and formally handed over an invite from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to attend the Prayagraj Kumbh Mela 2019.
Singh informed Khandu that this year the Mela is being organized in a never before scale expecting more than 14 crore visitors from over 92 countries.
The Mela, one of the grandest in the world, is being organized from 15 January to 4 March 2019 at Prayagraj (former Allahabad) wherein devotees from across the country and outside come to take a dip in the holy confluence of Ganga, Jamuna and the mystical Saraswati rivers.
Formally accepting the invitation letter, Khandu telephonically expressed gratitude to Yogi Adityanath and said he was humbled by the gesture. He said the invitation delivered personally by Singh, a minister in the UP Government, proved Yogiji’s interest and concern to make the religious event a grand and successful one. Also the gesture symbolized the affinity he has for Arunachal Pradesh and its people.
Khandu said that being partner states in the ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ program of the Narendra Modi Government, Arunachal Pradesh is committed to join, cooperate, support and coordinate in events and programs of the Uttar Pradesh government that promotes national integration through long term engagements.
“As through me, the Uttar Pradesh government has invited every citizen of Arunachal Pradesh to the Kumbh Mela, I can assure this is the right opportunity to begin our engagement with Uttar Pradesh,” Khandu said and assured participation of cultural troupes from the state in the Mela as a part of cultural engagement with Uttar Pradesh.
While giving details, Dr Singh said that many ‘firsts’ were being incorporated in preparing for the event. One of which, he said, is ministers from Uttar Pradesh travelling to various states and personally inviting people.
Dr Singh will now travel to Tripura and convey the invitation on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government to the people of the state. N P Singh, Commissioner, RD, UP Government is accompanying the minister.
Earlier, while addressing a news conference at the Pres Club here, Dr Singh also extended his government’s invitation to the people of State to attend the Kumbh Mela. He said that the Kumbh Mela is a “pan-Indian religious gathering”.
According to Singh massive preparations are underway for the Mela which has been recognised by the UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
He also elaborated upon UP Government initiated facilities such as security management, accommodation, drinking water supply, rejuvenated electric supply including Ganga management projects, etc.
Other new management includes the establishment of new venues, special pandals to house about 10000 pilgrims at various locations, artificial bridges, upgraded transportation facilities, etc.
“To ensure its grand success the UP government has prepared a budget of Rs. 4200 crore which is three times the budget that was spent on the Kumbh Mela held in 2013 at Allahabad,” he informed.
Stating that Kumbh Mela is not for a particular religion or community, Singh underscored that Mela is not just a ritual of taking a dip at the river, but a celebration of unity and cultural confluence which also showcases the richness and diversity of the country’s rich age-old culture.
“As a host, I request the beautiful people from the land of the rising sun to come and witness, the grandest religious celebration in the world and take holy bath in the confluence of the sacred rivers,” he appealed.
The ‘Maha Kumbh Mela’ is celebrated every six years on a rotational basis in the four riverside towns of Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik, and Ujjain.