Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurated a two days ‘orientation-cum-training programme’ for Haj 2019 deputationists in New Delhi on Tuesday. He said that the Centre Government has ended “deceit of Haj subsidy” with decisive honesty and transparency and for the first time since Independence, a record number of 2 lakh Indian Muslims will go to Haj this year without any subsidy.
While inaugurating a two-day orientation-cum-training programme for Haj 2019 deputationists in New Delhi today, Naqvi said that this honest and transparent system has ensured that even after removal of Haj subsidy; there is no unnecessary financial burden on the Haj pilgrims.
Union Minority Affairs Minister said that the Central Government has taken effective steps to ensure safety and better facilities of Haj pilgrims and emphasised that no negligence will be tolerated in this regard.
Naqvi added that a total of 620 Haj coordinators, Assistant Haj Officers, Haj Assistants, Doctors, Paramedics etc. have been deployed in Saudi Arabia to assist the Haj pilgrims. These deputationists include a large number of women.
Record number of Haj pilgrims from India
Minority Affairs Minister said that a record number of 2 lakh Indian Muslims will go to Haj this year, that too without any subsidy, through more than 500 flights from 21 embarkation points across the country. While 1 lakh 40 thousand Haj pilgrims will go through Haj Committee of India, 60 thousand Haj pilgrims will go through Haj Group Organisers (HGOs). All the HGOs will have to take 10 thousand Haj pilgrims on the rates decided by Haj Committee of India only.
Website for Haj Group Organisers
To ensure transparency and convenience to the Haj pilgrims, Naqvi informed that this year a portal of HGOs- http://haj.nic.in/pto/ (Portal For Haj Group Organisers) has been developed containing all the details of HGOs, their packages etc. A total of 725 HGOs will take Haj pilgrims this year.
Haj without Mehram
He said that the number of women Haj pilgrims going without “Mehram” (male companion) this year is double in comparison to last year. 2,340 Muslim women from India will go for Haj without “Mehram” this year while 1180 women had performed Haj last year without “Mehram”. This year too, the Minority Affairs Ministry has made arrangement to send these women on Haj without lottery system. 2 lakh Indian Haj pilgrims include about 48 per cent women.
Haj flights from India
Flights for Haj 2019 will start from 04th July 2019. On 04th July, flights will start from Delhi, Gaya, Guwahati and Srinagar. Besides, Haj pilgrims will go from Bengaluru (07th July), Calicut (07th July), Cochin (14th July), Goa (13th July), Mangalore (17th July), Mumbai (14th and 21st July), Srinagar (21st July). In the second phase, flights will go from Ahmedabad (20th July), Aurangabad (22nd July), Bhopal (21st July), Chennai (31st July), Hyderabad (26th July), Jaipur (20th July), Kolkata (25th July), Lucknow (20th July), Nagpur (25th July), Ranchi (21st July) and Varanasi (29th July).
Naqvi said that Saudi Arabia’s decision to increase India’s Haj quota to 2 lakh has ensured that for the first time since Independence, all the Haj applicants from all big states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar will go to Haj 2019 as their waiting lists have been cleared due to increase in Haj quota.
A total of 19 health centres (16 in Makkah and 3 in Madina) have been established. Besides, 3 hospitals in Makkah and 1 hospital in Madina have been established to ensure proper health facilities to Haj pilgrims. In the two-day training programme, Haj deputationists will be given all the information about Haj pilgrimage, accommodation in Makkah and Madina, transport, health facilities, safety measures etc.