Hajj Pilgrimage 2015
Hajj is a holy pilgrimage of all Muslims across the world and that is so true for India as well. In India, the pilgrimage is organized by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Hajj Committee every year. This year too, the pilgrimage that started in August is going on smoothly.
Every year, more than lakh pilgrims participate in the pilgrimage. Out of these, mostly go through the Hajj Committee and some prefer to travel through private tour operators. This year too, more than 1 lakh would be taking the pilgrimage through the Hajj Committee and rest would go through private players.
Since most of the pilgrims are either middle aged or old aged, deaths due to exertion and bad health conditions is common among them. Every year, there are reports of sudden deaths among the pilgrims. This year so far, 21 deaths have been registered. The details of those who have died have been published on the official website of government of India.
It is noteworthy to mention here that more than 40 per cent of the Hajj Pilgrims this year have been above 60 years of age and their health conditions is surely a cause of concerns. On the other hand, governments have made enough arrangement for the pilgrims and have installed medical facilities at every possible halt for the travelers.
The Consulate General of India and the Ministry of External Affairs have made enough arrangements to provide standard medical facilities and that too free of cost for all the Hajj Pilgrims. The government out there has developed hospital and medical centers at various common locations like Azizia, Makkah and Madinah. In total, 90 bed hospitals have been set up at these three locations.
There have been 145 paramedics and 134 doctors employed for the service of Hajj Pilgrims. Necessary arrangements have been taken to ensure that emergency situations are handled, if any arises.
As a matter of fact, deaths due to medical reasons and natural causes are quite common in these long journeys; especially the pilgrims are in their old age. A report suggests that there has been a decline in the number of deaths as compared to the previous years.
In Hajj 2013, the deaths had been 177 and in 2014, the deaths had been 152. This clearly suggests that the medical and overall arrangements have been improving and this is certainly commendable on part of External Affairs ministry and the Indian Consulate there.