Uttarakhand News

Prasadam Scheme: Only locally prepared prasad to be sold at pilgrimage shrines

With Char Dham season round the corner, the Uttarakhand government is leaving no stones unturned to find a way to improve the pilgrim-centric rural economy in the state. For this, Uttarakhand CM launched Prasadam scheme under which only locally prepared prasad will be sold to visiting pilgrims at the various pilgrimage sites including Kedarnath and Badrinath. If successful on a large scale, it will be a gamechanger in improving rural economy of the hill state.

Uttarakhand is home to around 625 shrines which are visited by large number of pilgrims annually, especially during the Char Dham season. These pilgrims will be offered prasadam which would be prepared locally by women-run self help groups (SHGs). The government-supported Prasadam scheme is a part of prime minister Narendra Modi’s vision to double farmer’s income by 2022.

The scheme came into existence after a successful experiment carried out at Badrinath shrine where a seller made a substantial profit by selling locally prepared prasad to the pilgrims. The government hopes to emulate the same at across all 625 pilgrimages with the help of women SHGs comprising of 10 women and 4 artisans. The state government would provide all possible help such as ensuring space to sell, proper training to the participants as well as use of local farm ingredients.

The minimum total income the Prasadam scheme is expected to fetch SHGs around Rs. 80 crore if the prasad is sold at an rate of Rs.100 per packet.

Inputs from Hindustan Times, original report by Deep Joshi