The entire Haj 2022 process in India shall be completely digital, informed Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Naqvi clarified the same in Mumbai while inaugurating an online booking facility at the Haj House. He added that India sends the second most number of Haj pilgrims after Indonesia.
Indian pilgrims were unable to attend Haj in 2020 and 2021 owing to COVID-19 and the decisions of the Saudi Arabia government to control the pandemic. Haj 2022 will be announced after consultations with different departments. The upcoming Haj review meeting will be held in New Delhi on October 21 and will be attended by officials from the minority affairs, external affairs, health and civil aviation ministries, India's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, India's consul general in Jeddah and other senior officials. On Saturday, the minister had discussed Haj 2022 preparations with senior Haj Committee of India officials.
Pilgrims shall receive special training about COVID-19 protocols and health and hygiene. The arrangements for the same are being made in India and Saudi Arabia, Naqvi added.
"The entire Haj 2022 process in India will be 100 per cent digital," the minister said.
In 2021, more than 700 women had applied for Haj without a Mehram or male companion. In 2020, about 2100 applied in the same category. Their applications would be eligible for Haj 2020 if they still want to go for the pilgrimage, Naqvi said. Other women can also apply freshly this year in the without Mehram category. All women in the category are exempt from the lottery system.