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Varanasi plans to roll out red carpet for Telugus
- City of Light gears up to host 12-day Ganga Pushkaralu from April 22
- UP expecting to witness a footfall of nearly 15 to 20 lakh Telugu pilgrims from various parts of the world this year
- UP Tourism wing setting up help kiosks with Telugu-speaking volunteers
As Varanasi is set to witness huge congregation of devotees not only from the two Telugu States Telangana and Andhra Pradesh but also from the diaspora residing in other countries like United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK) etc, the Uttar Pradesh government is making necessary arrangements for them for the 12-day long Ganga Pushkaralu which would begin from April 22.
Speaking to Hans India, RK Rawat, Deputy Director, Tourism, Government of Uttar Pradesh, said, "We are providing help desks to the pilgrims wherever possible. We will be deploying tourist guides at various places in the city and they are trained in Telugu and English languages so that pilgrims do not face any impediment in communication."
The district administration is holding consultations with various Telugu-speaking communities and associations to ensure the pilgrims do not encounter any problem during their visit to the city. Regarding the arrangements being made for the festival, T Gajanan Joshi, founder of Sri Raja Rajeshwari Charitable Trust, whose family settled in Kashi from last 400 years said, "Information centres are being set up across Varanasi to facilitate the pilgrims from Telugu-speaking States."
A shuttle service will be provided to the pilgrims till the parking point. We are in constant touch with the volunteers from the Banaras Hindu University and other community centres who can communicate in Telugu language. This year, we are likely to witness a footfall of nearly 15 to 20 lakh Telugu pilgrims from various parts of the world."
On behalf of the trust, we will also be providing accommodation and food to the pilgrims during the 12-day long festival. Unlike the arrangements made in 2011, the administration has taken several measures for the pilgrims visiting the city during the festival. For the Telugu pilgrims, during the days of Pushkaralu, after taking a holy dip, they pay obeisance to their ancestors on the banks of the Ganga river, says V V Sunder Shastri, managing trustee of Ram Tarak Andhra Ashram. In 2022, a month-long Kashi Tamil Sangamam was held in 2022, although they wanted to host a Telugu meet when Telugu-speaking pilgrims descend in the city for Pushkaralu, it did not materialise.