About the scheme
- The ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15 with the objective of integrated development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations.
- The scheme aimed at infrastructure development such as entry points (Road, Rail and Water Transport), last mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities like Information/ Interpretation Centers, ATM/ Money exchange, eco-friendly modes of transport, area Lighting and illumination with renewable sources of energy, parking, drinking water, toilets, etc.
- Rejuvenation and spiritual augmentation of important national/ global pilgrimage destinations;
- Enhance tourism attractiveness of identified pilgrimage destinations and heritage cities under integrated tourism development of heritage city in planned, prioritized and sustainable manner by providing world class tourism projects in them;
- Follow community-based development through ‘Pro-Poor’ tourism concept and ‘responsible tourism’ initiatives;
- Assure active involvement of local communities through employment generation;
- Creating awareness among the local communities about the importance of tourism for them in terms of increase in sources of income, improved living standards and overall development of the area;
- Promote heritage in the form of heritage structures especially under integrated tourism development of heritage city, local arts, culture, handicrafts, cuisine, etc., to generate livelihood in the identified places;
- Strengthen the mechanism for bridging the infrastructural gaps at identified pilgrimage destinations and throughout heritage cities.
- The projects identified under this scheme shall be implemented through the identified agencies by the respective State/ Union Territory Government.
Why in News?
- Union Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy virtually inaugurated PRASHAD projects in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
Swadesh Darshan scheme
- It is one among the flagship schemes of the Ministry of Tourism for integrated development of theme based tourist circuits in the country.
- Tourist Circuit is defined as a route having at least three major tourist destinations which are distinct and apart.
- Launched in 2014-15, the Scheme is 100% centrally funded and efforts are made to achieve convergence with other schemes of Central and State Governments and also to leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and Corporate Sector.
- Projects under the scheme shall be under the following identified themes; Eco-tourism, Wildlife, Buddhist, Desert, Spiritual, Ramayana, Krishna, Coastal, Northeast, Rural, Himalayan, Tribal and Heritage.