Hajj 2022 gives priority to health, well-being of pilgrims: Union Minister
Mumbai: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Saturday said that Haj 2022 was taking place with significant reforms, giving utmost priority to the health and well-being of pilgrims.
Inaugurating a two-day training camp of “Khadim Ul Hujjaj” at Haj House here, Naqvi said a total of 79,237 Indian Muslims will go for Haj 2022, of whom 50 per cent are women.
The entire process of Haj 2022 has been chalked out with necessary guidelines of the governments of India and Saudi Arabia, which include eligibility criteria, age limit, health-related requirements, among other things, he said, while noting that the pilgrimage could not take place for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are making all efforts to ensure that there is no additional financial burden on the pilgrims, as they will perform Haj without any subsidy. The process is on to provide accommodation, transportation and other necessary facilities in Saudi Arabia at affordable prices,” the Union minister said.
The selection process of Haj pilgrims has been done considering the completion of COVID-19 vaccination and fulfilling the necessary norms decided by the governments of the two countries, he said.
Naqvi further said that making the entire Haj 2022 process 100 per cent digital has been extremely beneficial to ensure health and well-being of pilgrims, besides making the pilgrimage transparent, accessible, affordable and convenient.
At least 56,601 Indian Muslims will go for Haj 2022 through Haj Committee of India and 22,636 will go through Haj Group Organisers (HGOs), he said.
More than 1,800 Muslim women will go for Haj 2022 without ‘Mehram’ (male companion) and they will go to Haj without a lottery system, the minister said, adding that a total of 83,140 applications had been received for Haj 2022.
The pilgrims will go through Haj Committee of India from 10 embarkation points namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Cochin, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Srinagar, he said.
The Ahmedabad embarkation point will cover Gujarat, while the Bengaluru embarkation point will cover Karnataka and Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, and the Cochin embarkation point will include Kerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Andaman & Nicobar, Naqvi said.
The Delhi embarkation point will cover Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, western districts of Uttar Pradesh, while the Guwahati embarkation point will cover Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Nagaland, he said.
The Hyderabad embarkation point will be for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Kolkata embarkation point will cover West Bengal, Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand and Bihar and the Lucknow embarkation point will cover all parts of Uttar Pradesh except western parts, he said.
The Mumbai embarkation point will be for Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Srinagar embarkation point will cover Jammu-Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh-Kargil, the minister said.
Naqvi further said that the pilgrims will be given digital health card, ‘E-MASIHA’ health facility and e-luggage pre-tagging that provides all information regarding accommodation and transportation in Makkah-Madinah.
More than 400 ‘Khadim-ul-Hujjaj’, including 12 women, from across the country have participated in the two-day training programme. The ‘Khadim-ul-Hujjaj will assist Indian pilgrims in Makkah-Madinah.