Over 400 pilgrims from Bengal likely to go for Haj
Kolkata: India is expected to get a quota of 5,000 pilgrims for performing Haj this year. Over 400 pilgrims from Bengal are expected to go to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj this year. Last year, the annual trip was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic. Saudi Arabia has announced that only 60,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform Haj this year maintaining COVID-19 protocols. While 15,000 pilgrims will be citizens of Saudi Arabia, the rest 45,000 will be from other countries.
"India is expected to get a quota of 5,000 out of which (excluding provisions for Haj Group Organisers) West Bengal may be allocated 400-600 pilgrims," said an official of West Bengal State Haj Committee. He reiterated that pilgrims must be in good health without any history of hospitalisation during the last six months. The age of the pilgrim should be between 18 and 60 years.
"We received over 38,00 Haj applications. Of which 1, 600 are above the age of 60 years. This year, the cost incurred in performing Haj will be between Rs 4. 5 and 5 lakh. In 2019, the cost incurred in performing Haj was Rs 3,12, 800," pointed out the official. The Haj applicant is required to submit vaccination details through the portal of Haj Committee of India. The first dose of vaccine must have been taken before Eid ul Fitr (May 14, 2021).
For Indian Haj pilgrims as of now Covishield is the approved vaccine. For any clarification regarding vaccination and other details, the Haj applicant should check the West Bengal State Haj Committee's official website www.hajcommittee.gov.in.
Haj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is performed in the last month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims are expected to make at least once during their lifetime if they can afford to do so.