Submitting of Haj application forms extended to January 10
Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has announced that the last date for submission of application forms for Haj 2021 has been extended up to 10th January 2021. Addressing a press conference in Mumbai today, Mr. Naqvi said, a month long extension is being given considering the restrictions included with regard to age, health and fitness besides others in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Haj 2021 is scheduled for June-July 2021, and the minister clarified that all the necessary national-international guidelines related to the coronavirus pandemic will be followed strictly. He added that each pilgrim will have to undergo COVID-19 testing, 72 hours prior the journey and submit a negative PCR certificate while embarking the flight to Jeddah.
Mr. Naqvi further informed that the embarkation points for Haj 2021 have been reduced from 21 to 10 after receiving feedback from news agencies. Accordingly, the cost of pilgrimage, calculated in accordance with the point of embarkation has also been reduced. The 10 embarkation points are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Cochin, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Srinagar.
Lauding the Haj Committee for creating a user-friendly website for pilgrims, Mr. Naqvi said 80 percent of the applications have been received through digital mode. He informed that forty thousand pilgrims, including 500 under the “women without mehram (male companion)” category have applied for Haj 2021 so far.
Since Haj 2020 was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Naqvi said, over 2100 women who had applied under the same category last year will be allowed to travel this year.