Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], May 22 (ANI): The first batch of Haj pilgrims left for Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on Sunday from Lucknow.
Uttar Pradesh Minister Danish Azad Ansari stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent wishes to all the pilgrims.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed his best wishes to all pilgrims and wished them a safe and joyous journey while also urging them to pray for the progress and prosperity of the country," he said.
Chairman, of UP Haj Committee Mohsin Raza, also spoke at the event and said that a large number of people leaving for the Haj will acknowledge the wonderful facilities provided for the pilgrimage by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"A large number of people are leaving for the Haj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. About 26,786 pilgrims depart from Uttar Pradesh for Haj on Sunday. The pilgrims who will return after the Haj will acknowledge the wonderful contributions of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and PM Modi. It is due to the combined efforts of the government, authorities and the members of the state that we could assure all the pilgrims of a safe and easy flight to Haj," he stated.
Delhi Haj Committee has also taken several initiatives for the ease of pilgrims including a special camp to boost physical fitness.
The camp has been planned in view of the need for stamina and fitness during the pilgrimage."A special camp with a focus on physical fitness was organised for those travelling from Delhi. A fitness camp was held with trainers imparting training including in yoga asanas," a source told ANI.
There has been a significant rise in the number of women travelling for Haj and without a mahram (without a male support traveller). Of nearly 4000 women who have registered without Mahram this year, 39 are travelling from Delhi.
From about 8000 Haj pilgrims last year from Delhi, the number of passengers who will be embarking on the pilgrimage is thrice the number.
As per the available data, more than 22,000 will travel for the annual pilgrimage this year from Delhi.
Sources said since the Narendra Modi government came to power, several initiatives have been taken for ease of Haj pilgrims.
The Modi government did away with the Haj subsidy and announced they would use that money for the education of the girl child.
In yet another public interest initiative, the government said that the VIP quota for Haj travel, which entailed travel on priority, has been scrapped. (ANI)