New Delhi: About 22,000 Indian pilgrims will perform Haj, to be held in the fourth week of August.
The Haj committee has raised the quota of pilgrims for this year by 1000, committee sources said.
The government has made the necessary arrangements for the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia where they are expected to arrive by the end of this month.
One batch of about 1500 pilgrims left for the Saudi kingdom last month. The second batch will leave on July 15. A team of 20 doctors including five women will accompany the pilgrims during their visit to various places in the Saudi kingdom. Besides, the team will be assisted by trained paramedical staff.
The Indian Government has already set up a permanent medical unit at Mecca where pilgrims will be provided all medical facilities.
Besides the medical team the pilgrims will be accompanied by Haj officials and other government officials who will make arrangements for their stay in Mecca, Medina, Arafat ground and other places.
It is learned that the Indian Government has acquired some buildings in Medina and Mecca to provide accommodation for the Hajis. Pilgrims face accommodation problems at these places due to the exorbitant rates charged by the local people.
The committee has allowed about 1,000 Indians to perform Haj on the basis of foreign exchange to be remitted by their relatives in Saudi Arabia. There are more than 80,000 Indian workers both skilled and unskilled in Saudi Arabia engaged in developmental and construction work.
Meanwhile, the Haj committee has made boarding and lodging arrangements for the pilgrims in Bombay at the SaboSidiq Musafir Khanna and other places.
Article extracted from this publication >> August 2, 1985