Two lakh Indian Muslims, 48% women, to go on Haj, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

GOOD TIDINGS: Min says making process for Haj digital has made it cheap even without subsidy

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Two lakh Indian Muslims, 48% women, to go on Haj, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi greets 1st batch of annual Haj pilgrims at Ahmedabad airport in 2016


    Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday declared two lakh Indian Muslims will go for Haj this year without any subsidy. 

    The development will be made possible via more than 500 flights from 21 embarkation points positioned across the country. In his address at the meeting of representatives of Private Tour Operators (PTOs) at the city’s Haj House, Naqvi said 1.40 lakh Haj pilgrims will go through the Haj Committee of India and 60,000 through PTOs. Of the 2 lakh Indian Haj pilgrims, 48 per cent are women. 

    “Saudi Arabia’s decision to increase India’s Haj quota to 2 lakh has ensured that for the first time since Independence, all Haj applicants from states such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Bihar will go on Haj. Their waiting lists have been cleared due to an increase in Haj quota,’’ said Naqvi. 


    • Naqvi said safety and better facilities are the govt’s top priority and no negligence will be tolerated. This year, 3 PTOs have been blacklisted after the Ministry received serious complaints against them

    The minister informed that the number of women Haj pilgrims going without “Mehram” (male companion) has been increased this year. Nearly 2,340 Muslim women from India will go for Haj without a “Mehram” this year. The PTOs will have to take 10,000 Haj pilgrims at rates decided by the Haj Committee of India. A total of 725 PTOs will take the pilgrims for Haj this year, he added.

    Naqvi further said that making the entire Haj process digital has not only ensured cheap pilgrimage even after removal of a subsidy but has also made the process pro-pilgrims. 

    Naqvi said that safety and better facilities are the government’s top priority and no negligence will be tolerated in this regard. This year, three PTOs have been blacklisted after the Ministry of Minority Affairs received serious complaints against these PTOs. Strict action was taken against several PTOs even in 2018. A total of 14 health centres (11 in Mecca and three in Medina) have been established. 

    Besides, three hospitals in Mecca and one hospital in Medina have been established to ensure proper health facilities to Haj pilgrims. A total of 620 Haj coordinators, Assistant Haj Officers, Haj Assistants, Doctors, Paramedics have been deployed; the staff includes a large number of women.

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