Source: Press Information Bureau
PRASAD scheme was launched in 2014-15 by the Ministry of Tourism. The scheme aims at the integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in a planned, prioritized and sustainable manner to provide complete religious tourism experience. It focuses on the development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations in India.
The scheme was launched with 12 identified sites namely Ajmer (Rajasthan), Amritsar (Punjab), Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Dwarka (Gujarat), Gaya (Bihar), Kedarnath (Uttarakhand), Kamakhya (Assam), Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu), Mathura (Uttar Pradesh), Puri (Odisha), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) and Vellankani (Tamil Nadu).
Recently the Ministry has included Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttrarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Parasnath in Jharkhand under the PRASAD scheme.
- Integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in a planned, prioritized and sustainable manner to provide complete religious tourism experience
- Harness pilgrimage tourism for its direct and multiplier effects on employment generation and economic development
- Follow community-based development and pro-poor tourism concept in development of the pilgrimage destinations.
- Leveraging public capital and expertise.
- Enhancing the tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner by developing world-class infrastructure in the religious destination.
- Creating awareness among the local communities about the importance of tourism for them in terms of an increase in sources of income, improved living standards and overall development of the area.
- Promote local arts, culture, handicrafts, cuisine, etc., to generate livelihood in the identified places.