External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addressing press conference at Lucknow on Tuesday
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addressing press conference at Lucknow on Tuesday

PBD at Varanasi will allow participants to take a holy dip at 'Sangam' during Kumbh Mela, says Sushma Swaraj

ANI | Updated: Jan 16, 2019 18:33 IST

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Jan 16 (ANI): Those coming for participating in this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) at Varanasi will have a unique opportunity to take a holy dip at 'Sangam' in Prayagraj during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday.
Talking to media persons here, Swaraj said: "PBD--2019 is being organised at Varanasi so that those coming for the event can be taken to Allahabad (Prayagraj) for a holy dip at 'Sangam' during the ongoing Kumbh Mela."
'Sangam' refers to the confluence of India's three most famous and pious rivers-Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati-at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, where lakhs of devotees take a holy dip during the Kumbh Mela, which concludes on March 4 this year.
"PBD is being organised in Varanasi, which is so close to Prayagraj where the Maha Kumbh is going on. As a result, those coming for the PBD should also be taken easily to the Maha Kumbh for a holy bath," said Swaraj.
PBD would be organised from January 21 to 23 at Varanasi this year. The 21 January would be celebrated as Youth PBD. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the PBD on January 22, while on January 23 President Ram Nath Kovind will conclude the PBD.
Swaraj said that PBD has seen a record number of registrations this year, with almost three times more because of the fact that PBD-2019 coincides with the ongoing Kumbh Mela and concludes only three days ahead of the Republic Day celebration on January 26 at the Rajpath in New Delhi.
"About 5,802 people have registered by now for the PBD, which is much higher as compared to the previous events. It seems that from the countries from where people used to come in groups of 50-60 are now coming in groups of 400 and more," said Swaraj.
"People themselves have requested us that instead of celebrating it on 9 January it should be shifted so that those coming may also participate in Maha Kumbh and Republic Day celebrations on Rajpath," she said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was also present during the press conference, said that those coming for the PBD would be made to stay with the locals in Varanasi.
"Many of the families in Varanasi have expressed interest that those coming for the PBD should stay with them. We have selected a few families already. We have also arranged tent cottages and hotels for their stay," said Chief Minister Adityanath. (ANI)

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