Mumbai: After a gap of two years of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, as many as 79,237 Indian Muslims will fly to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj-2022 pilgrimage which will start from July onwards, officials said here on Saturday.
They include around 50 per cent women with 22,636 going via Haj Group Organisers and the remaining 56,601 through the Hajj Committee of India, from among 83,140 applications including 72,170 online, said Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
More than 1,800 Muslim women will go for Hajj 2022 without “Mehram” (male companion), and without the lottery system, he added.
The selection process of Haj pilgrims was in accordance with the COVID vaccination protocols and other norms decided by the two governments, he said.
Uttar Pradesh leads with a total of 8,701 pilgrims, followed by West Bengal (5,911), Jammu and Kashmir (5,281), Kerala (5,274), Maharashtra (4,874), Assam (3,544), Karnataka (2,764), Gujarat (2,533), Bihar (2,210), Rajasthan (2,072), Telangana (1,822), Madhya Pradesh (1,780), Jharkhand (1,559), Tamil Nadu (1,498), Andhra Pradesh (1,201).
Besides, there will be Haj pilgrims from Delhi (835), Haryana (617), Uttarakhand (485), Odisha (466), Chhattisgarh (431), Manipur (335), Punjab (218), Ladakh (216), Lakshadweep Isles (159), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (114), Tripura (108), Goa (67), Puducherry (52), Himachal Pradesh (38), Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu (34), and Chandigarh 25.
Naqvi was inaugurating a two-day training camp for 400 Khadim-ul-Hujjaj’ including 12 women, who will assist the Indian Haj pilgrims in Makkah-Madina with processes related to Haj, accommodation, transport, health and safety.
They will be trained by officials from HCI, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, Disaster Management agencies, doctors, airlines, customs and immigration professionals.
The Minister said that Hajj is taking place with significant reforms giving utmost priority to the health and well-being of the Haj pilgrims and all processes have been chalked out jointly by the governments of India and Saudi Arabia based on criteria like age, and health, etc.
“We are making all-out efforts to ensure there is no additional financial burden on the pilgrims as they will perform the Haj without any subsidy. The process is going on to take accommodation, transportation and other necessary facilities in Saudi Arabia at affordable prices,” Naqvi said.
The entire Haj 2022 process was digital/online and has been extremely beneficial to ensuring the health and well-being of the people besides transparent, accessible, affordable, and convenient Haj pilgrimage, Naqvi pointed out.
All Haj pilgrims shall get a Digital Health Card, “E-MASIHA” health facility, and “E-luggage pre-tagging”, providing all information regarding accommodation/transportation in Makkah-Madinah.