The Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela comes after every six years and the venue for it is Haridwar and Allahabad. The Purna (complete) Kumbh comes after every twelve years, and the venue for it is Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik. The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela which occurs after the completion of 12 'Purna Kumbh Melas', or 144 years, and its venue is Allahabad.
In the Mahakumbh Mela proposed to be held on Jan 14, 2013, the tourism department has already started training 250 young, smart and suave volunteers who will be ready to answer all the queries related to Mahakumbh and make it easy and comfortable for the tourists. It is expected that on the eve of Mahakumbh commencing on January 14, 2013, there will millions of visitors pouring in from all across India, besides additional 60,000 tourists from foreign countries. The tourist guides will be trained by tourism department at different levels and moreover, they will receive the license for Allahabad city which would later be renewed.
“Training is being imparted to five batches of 50 guides. The first batch of guides has already received training that between August 27 and September 2. The training for second batch has already begun, whereas, the subsequent third, fourth and fifth batch would be imparted training between September 24 and November 3,” said Vishal Srivastava, Tourism Information Officer (Institute of Tourism Management, Lucknow).
The tourism information officer further said that guides are being exclusively trained for their body language and communication skills, which would turn out to be helpful for the millions of pilgrims. The volunteered guides are also been given customized lessons on tourism industry and their guiding skills. The guides are also given lectures on Allahabad, besides the places of interest, culture, craft, and tradition apart from the Kumbh and Sangam rituals. Basic training on providing first aid to the pilgrims in case of emergency situation is also being provided.
Training is being provided under a State run employment programme named "Hunar par Rozgar" and is purely a skill development exercise. The programme is scheduled for individuals with limited means of learning. The Mahakumbh Mela 2013 will be a more organized event than it used to be in previous years, and all because of efforts of State Tourism Department.
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