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Haj pilgrimage goes digital for the first time, solo female travellers allowed

About two lakh Indians will depart for the famous Haj pilgrimage this year, as revealed by Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Union Minister for Minority Affairs. According to the news reports, Haj witnessed the arrival of a lot of Indian pilgrims in 2019. In fact, Indians were the second-highest in number after Indonesia. Maqsood Ahmed Khan, CEO, Haj Committee of India, told the press that about 18000 to 20000 pilgrims will be leaving for Haj from Mumbai between July and August in 2020. The cost of each person for this pilgrimage is INR 67000 per person.

The application process for the pilgrimage is now over, and out of 2.67 lakh applications in 2020, 2 lakhs have been chosen for this auspicious trip. News has it that 1.23 lakh pilgrims will go via the Haj Committee and others will leave through the Haj Group organisers.

The Union Minister for Minority Affairs also shared that the Haj application process was completely digital this year to make it easy, and India is a pioneer in making it possible. Interestingly, 2100 women have been selected for Haj without mehram (a male companion) this year. This has happened after two years of Saudi government approving Muslim women over 45 years of age to go on the pilgrimage without a male companion and in a group of four persons.

The dates for Haj pilgrimage are from July 28 to August 2, 2020. It is an annual pilgrimage taken to Mecca city in Saudi Arabia. It is said that every Muslim should undertake this pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime.