Friday, July 28, 2017

150 Haj pilgrims take off for Mecca

Gaya: The first batch of 150 (85 men and 65 women) Haj pilgrims from the state left for Mecca in Saudi Arabia on a six-week-long pilgrimage on Thursday evening amid tears and best wishes from friends and relatives.
Gaya DM Kumar Ravi, SSP Garima Malik and airport director Dilip Kumar, were also present on the occasion.
Most of the pilgrims who took off on Thursday were from Siwan, East Champaran and Gopalganj districts. Two of the pilgrims are from Gaya. Two special Haj flights of Air India would operate daily between Gaya and Jeddah. The last batch of pilgrims would be leaving Gaya on August 22.
According to the Haj coordinator AM Karimi alias Motibhai, about 7000 pilgrims from the state would be performing Haj in 2017. Last year, the number of Haj pilgrims from the state was 6,600. The state has got a quota of 10,000. But the Bihar quota is generally not fulfilled and subsequently transferred to other states like Karnataka and Kerala where the number of pilgrims is more. Each pilgrim has to spend about Rs 2.5 lakh on the pilgrimage.
Airport director Dilip Kumar said special arrangements have been made for the pilgrims on the airport premises. A 250-bed temporary dormitory with leak-proof cover has been set up for the purpose. About 20 temporary toilets have also been made in the pilgrim area of the airport. Arrangements have also been made for wazoo (pre-prayer wash) and namaz offering by the pilgrims.
28/07/17 Abdul Qadir/Times of India