Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Monday that the Shakti free travel scheme for women in Karnataka has increased the income of temples.

He was speaking at the inauguration of 'Our Monument: Our Heritage, Our Identity, Our Pride' campaign interaction and digital platform organised by Tourism and Archaeology Museums and Heritage Department at Conference Hall, Vidhana Soudha.

"There are substantial opportunities to develop tourism in the state. The concern behind the Shakti project is that even the poor should be allowed to go to spiritual and eco-tourism centers and temples. 60 lakh women have benefited from this and the income of temples has increased.

Shakti free travel scheme increased income of temples: K'taka CM Siddaramaiah
Shakti free travel scheme increased income of temples: K'taka CM SiddaramaiahIANS

"The economy is gaining momentum and business and transactions are creating more jobs. All these concerns have worked behind the Shakti scheme," he said, adding that the scheme was not initiated only because of the election.

He said that if tourism grows in the state, the cultural pride of the country will increase and the economy will get a boost.

"No one should forget Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's words that people who do not know history cannot shape the future... The protection of monuments is essential to make the present generation understand our history and to convey the importance of our heritage to future generations.

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"If the public joins hands with the government to protect the monuments, our history and heritage can be passed on to the next generation, he said.

The CM congratulated the industrialists and organisations who have come forward with self-motivation to adopt and preserve the monuments.

Prashant Prakash, Chairman of Startup Vision Group and Kalki Foundation attended the event as special invitees.Tourism Minister Dr. H. K Patil presided over the programme. Additional Chief Secretary of the Tourism Department Kapil Mohan, Director of the Department V. Ram Prasath Manohar, Commissioner of the Department A. Devaraju and many others were present.

(With inputs from IANS)