Hyderabad: A section of Haj pilgrims from the state took to social media to hit out at authorities over an array of issues, ranging from inconveniences during flights to lack of amenities at the hotel they are being accommodated in.
Pilgrims of one of the batches sent from the state said that there is one washing machine and one fridge for 200 people at their hotel.
By Saturday, close to 1500 Haj pilgrims had left for Saudi Arabia in four batches.
“Our phone is not functioning, as the SIM provided is yet to be activated. They have taken all the information, including fingerprints, but what is the use when these SIMs are not working?” said one Ghouse, who is staying at a hotel provided by the Haj Committee.
An elderly pilgrim in his 70s was also worried about not being able to make or receive calls. “We recharged the phone after being provided with a new SIM, but it’s not working,” he said in a video on social media.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Osman Al-Hajri, a social activist who is getting updates from Saudi Arabia said that promised facilities failed to reach pilgrims. “The Khadim-ul-Hujjaj (Haj officers), who are accompanying these batches, are not experienced and unable to deal with the situation. I request the board’s chairman to personally visit Saudi Arabia to ensure they don’t face inconvenience. Most of them are elderly and they have spent lots of money to complete the Haj smoothly,” he said.
Osman said that some NRIs who met the pilgrims also told him that there was no proper sanitation and only a single refrigerator and washing machine, each, for over 200 people.
However, board chairman Md. Saleem refuted the claims, saying they were politically motivated. “We have ensured that facilities are provided to them. Now that they have reached safely, local authorities will be taking care of some of the responsibilities. Khadim-ul-Hujjaj are also taking care of them. There may be one or two individuals who may be doing this intentionally. Otherwise, everything is going on smoothly,” he said....