Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi flagged off the first batch of Haj 2019 pilgrims from Indira Gandhi International Airport with prayers of country's safety and prosperity yesterday in New Delhi.
Shri Naqvi congratulated the Haj pilgrims and extended best wishes to them for their pilgrimage. A total of 419 Haj pilgrims including 202 women left from Delhi in the first flight. These Haj pilgrims are from Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh, Agra, Meerut, Rampur and Bulandshahar.
Shri Naqvi said that first time since Independence, a record number of 2 lakh Indian Muslims are going to Haj this year without any subsidy. Honest and transparent system developed by the Government has ensured that even after removal of Haj subsidy; there is no unnecessary financial burden on the Haj pilgrims.
Shri Naqvi said that a record number of 2 lakh Indian Muslims are going to Haj this year through more than 500 flights from 21 embarkation points across the country. Today on July 04, flights will go from Delhi, Gaya, Guwahati and Srinagar. Besides Delhi, Haj pilgrims from UP, Haryana, Uttarakhand, J&K, Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh will proceed from Delhi embarkation point.
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).
Shri Naqvi 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 are going 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.
(With Inputs from PIB)