60% drop in Hajj applications due to COVID

Monday, December 21, 2020

There has been a 60 percent drop in aspirants for Hajj 2021 pilgrimage due to COVID 19 which forced cancellation of the pilgrimage earlier this year.

As per the figures accessed by the Greater Kashmir, this year for Hajj 2021 just 7200 persons have applied which is at least 60 percent lesser than applications received by Hajj Committee in past few years in J&K .

On an average in the last five years, 20 to 25 thousand applicants used to apply for close to 10000 seats being allocated to J&K by the Hajj Committee of India.

J&K Hajj Executive Officer, Dr. Abdul Salam said, “The number of applications received so far is lesser but the last date for submission of applications has been extended up to January 10.”

When asked about the reason for fewer applications, he replied it is due to COVID impact, last year the pilgrimage was put on hold due to the pandemic which spread across the globe.

In view of COVID, the government of India earlier this year had decided that Muslims from India will not travel to Saudi Arabia for Hajj 2020 after the kingdom conveyed that pilgrims should not be sent this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

As per the Hajj Committee of India, over 40,000 applications have been received so far for Hajj 2021 across India. These include more than 500 applications under the category of women (desirous of travelling) without “Mehram” (male companion), the statement said. For the Hajj 2020, more than 2,100 women had applied under without ”Mehram” category. These women will go for Hajj 2021 as their applications remain valid, it said. Besides, new forms are also being accepted from women who want to perform Hajj 2021 without ”Mehram”, it said. All women willing to travel under this category will be exempted from the lottery system, the statement said.

As per the officials, the Hajj rates have gone up due to reduction in number of embarkation points which have been reduced from 22 to 10 across India, however Srinagar embarkation point has been kept intact. “The estimated cost per pilgrim now is approximately Rs 3,30,000 for Ahmedabad and Mumbai embarkation points, Rs 3,50,000 for Bengaluru, Lucknow, Delhi and Hyderabad, Rs 3,60,000 for Cochin and Srinagar, Rs 3,70,000 for Kolkata and Rs 4 lakh for Guwahati embarkation point,” he said.


Source: https://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/front-page-2/60-drop-in-hajj-applications-due-to-covid/