Jeddah: A Government of India delegation led by H.E. Mr Sailesh, Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA), accompanied by Ms. Nigar Fatima Husain, Joint Secretary, MoMA, and Md. Nadeem, Under Secretary, MoMA, are currently on a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 31 August-03 September 2019 to review India’s Haj 2019 operations.
Delegation held several meetings with officials of Ministry of Hajj and Umrah
The delegation, accompanied by India’s Ambassador H.E. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General Mr Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh & Consul (Haj) Mr Y. Sabir, held several meetings with Officials of Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of the Kingdom including Deputy Hajj Ministers H.E. Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat & H.E. Dr. Hussein Al-Sharif, Director General H.E. Eng. Marwaan bin Husni Al Sulaimani as well as Chairman of the South Asian Moassassa H.E. Dr. Rafat Ismail Badr.
During the meetings, the two sides reviewed the arrangements for Haj-2019 for Indian pilgrims, and discussed ways of improving arrangements for Haj-2020. The Indian side congratulated the Government of the Kingdom on successful and smooth completion of Hajj-2019 operations. Leader of Indian delegation H.E. Mr. Sailesh conveyed Government of India’s appreciation for the excellent arrangements made by the Kingdom for Hajj-2019. He also thanked the Government of the Kingdom for enhancing India’s Hajj quota to 200,000 as well as extending full cooperation to Indian Officials involved in Haj operations. The Officials of Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and the South Asian Moassassa also expressed their appreciation for the various arrangements made by the Indian Haj Management for Indian pilgrims, specially pre-tagging of baggages which drastically reduced waiting time for pilgrims at airport. They also appreciated the medical facilities and accommodation arrangements made available for Indian pilgrims.
The two sides discussed about Makkah Route Initiative, ways of reducing waiting time for pilgrims at airport during arrival & departure, SIM cards for the pilgrims, Haj-visa process, pilgrims’ accommodation norms, arrangements in Mashaer region, flight operations etc.
H.E. Mr. Sailesh, Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs, also chaired an interactive session held at the Consulate in the presence of Indian Ambassador, Consul General and Consulate Officers for a comprehensive review of India’s Haj-2019 operations. After a detailed PowerPoint presentation by Consul General, feedback was taken from about 30 Indian Administrative and Medical Officers who are on deputation to Saudi Arabia and have been working in the field to provide best possible assistance to the Indian Hajis.
Delegation visited Indian Haj Pilgrims’ Officer-cum-Dispensary
The delegation also visited Indian Haj Pilgrims’ Office-cum-Dispensary at Jeddah Haj Terminal and interacted with Indian pilgrims at the Terminal who were returning to India after a successful Haj.
It may be recalled that India’s Haj-2019 operation went off smoothly & incident-free. Record number of 200,000 Indian pilgrims performed Haj in 2019. While 140000 pilgrims came through Haj Committee of India, remaining 60,000 came through Haj Group Operators. About 65 per cent of Indian pilgrims have already returned to India spiritually satisfied after successful Haj. Return of Indian pilgrims is going on and will continue till 15th September 2019.