With the release of Haj Application Forms (HAF) at Haj House, Nampally, here on Thursday began the Haj Season 2016.
While releasing the forms ACB Director General A. K. Khan said that the Haj is an obligation on every adult Muslim who is physically, mentally and financially fit to bear the expenses and hardships of the journey. He said that this year Haj is scheduled on 10th September and advised the intending pilgrims to take care of their health and start practice of walking up to five kilometers a day. He said that still there is six months time for practicing health improvement programme.
He advised the pilgrims not to fall prey to the Private Tour Operators and before booking a seat with them ensure their genuineness and the Quota allotted to them by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said that every year PTOs dupe hundreds of gullible pilgrims, therefore the people should obtain receipt for the amount paid to them so that action can be taken against the culprits.
A.K. Khan, who had served the State Haj Committee for a long time, also advised the pilgrims not to believe any middleman for their selection for Haj. He said that expenses for Haj journey will be around Rs. 2, 00,000/- lakh per pilgrim. He appreciated the efforts put forth by the State Haj Committee and said that the Government is providing all facilities to the Haj pilgrims. He said that the applicants should possess International Passport with validity up to 10th March 2017. He said that pilgrims who have completed 70 years of age as on 13th January 2016, besides the fourth timers are eligible for automatic selection under Reserved Categories.
Minorities Welfare Department Secretary Syed Omer Jaleel said that the process of selection of Haj pilgrims is very transparent and there is no scope of any recommendation in it. He said that certain unscrupulous elements dupe the innocent applicants promising their selection, whereas there is no scope for selection out of Qurrah (Draw of Lots). He advised the Haj Committee to set up more number of counters to facilitate the applicants in filling up the Haj Forms and submitting the forms online. He advised the applicants should not wait till last date and submit the forms at the earliest.
Telangana State Haj Committee Special Officer Prof. S. A. Shukoor presented a report on the Haj 2016 and said that the Telangana State Haj Committee has made elaborate arrangements for distribution, filling up and acceptance of the Haj Application Forms. Special Counters have been set up at the Haj House and similar arrangements have been made in the districts. The Telangana State Haj Committee is also making arrangements for Haj right from issuing and accepting the Haj Forms to the departure and return back of the Haj pilgrims from that state, he said and explained about the facilities being provided to the Haj applicants and Haj pilgrims. He said that the Central Haj Committee has made improvements for the facilities of the Haj pilgrims and applicants on the suggestions put forth by the State Haj Committee. He said that the Haj Forms would be accepted till February 8, 2016. The Applicants would have to remit an amount of Rs. 300 per head in SBI or the Union Bank of India.
Mohammed Jalaluddin Akber, Director Minorities Welfare Department and B. Shafiullah Managing Director TS Minorities Finance Corporation were present on this occasion.
Haj Application Forms were distributed free of cost in large number on the first day. (INN)