App for Umrah pilgrims to rule out chances of duping by crooked travel agents

Thursday, April 11, 2019

MUMBAI: Cheating of Umrah (mini-Haj) pilgrims by unscrupulous tour operators may become a thing of the past as an app helps utmost transparency and make the holy journey hassle-free . The App empowers the pilgrims to track the progress as travel documents are processed and payments made to the operators. Seated at Mohammed Ali Road office, Afzal Patel, owner of leading Haj and Umrah tour operator Atlas Tours and Travels, points to the new communication tool he got created. “It took us three years to prepare the App. It empowers the pilgrims and rules out the chances of duping by crooked agents. It makes life easy for both tour organisers and the pilgrims,” said Patel. Patel has given the login ids to 103 agents across the country who book the pilgrims for Umrah using this tool. “In the last four months 5865 pilgrims’ travels have been processed through these tools and the number is growing every hour,” said Patel’s son Hassan who has been instrumental in developing this App. People can use the app by clicking on Apart from providing a wide range of choices of hotels—the price of accommodation depends on how far a pilgrim is put up from the holy mosques in Mecca and Medina. The tool even allows the pilgrims to verify this distance through Google search. “This is the need of the hour. Many pilgrims have been duped by tour operators in the past. If I choose the services of a tour operator and he enables me to track my visa process and have a look at my hotel rooms online, I will be satisfied. This will help minimise the hassle during the holy journey,” said Bandra-based activist Shadaab Patel. Congress MLA Amin Patel was bombarded with so many complaints of tour operators duping Umrah and Haj pilgrims that he had to write to minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to crack down on such crooked operators.