Jeddah: India, which is top in terms of technology usage, has been proving its edge in Haj operations, according to top Indian diplomat in Saudi Arabia.
Md Noor Rahman Shiekh, Indian Consul General in Jeddah, said India was likely to make a quantum leap in Haj operations from next year when Saudi immigration process will be completed at embark points itself in India before their arrival into Saudi Arabia. He added that India is one of the three countries in the world who had successfully implemented e-Haj visa.
Speaking at the felicitation programme held by Indian Mission on Thursday night for NRI members who rendered voluntary services to Indian Haj pilgrims during Haj 2017, he said Saudi authorities were impressed by the volunteers’ services and effective usage of technology during Haj by India.
“This year, we have used WhatsApp effectively to reach out to pilgrims to receive their grievances,” said Sheikh.
Lauding the role of NRI volunteers who assisted pilgrims not only from India but also from other countries, the diplomat said NRIs from different States, most notably from southern part came together as “Team India”, to serve pilgrims.
The Consul General hailed NRI organisations, including Telangana NRI Association, for deputing their contingent of volunteers to assist pilgrims.
Some 1.7 lakh Haj pilgrims from India through 900 flights arrived in Saudi Arabia and successfully returned home after Haj, says Haj Consul Mohd Shahid Alam.
OICC president KT Muneer emphasised that several Hindu and Christian NRIs in Saudi Arabia supported Muslim volunteers to serve Haj pilgrims.
IPWF president Abdulaziz Kidwai, KMCC’s Jamal Vattapoyil, IFF’s Abdul Gaffar, Telangana NRI Association president Abdul Jabbar, Vikhaya’s Dilshad and Risala’s Noufal Ahmed also shared their experiences while serving pilgrims and thanked the Indian Consulate for its support.