97,000 Hajj pilgrims receive health services at holy sites

ARAFAT: As pilgrims made their way to Mount Arafat and the Namirah Mosque in the scorching sun, a group of young men and women volunteered to provide worshipers with cold water to help them avoid dehydration.

Dozens of volunteers from different walks of life who came to serve the pilgrims said they felt humbled and honored to help.

Makkah-based Mansour Murtadha, 27, volunteered to distribute cold water to pilgrims with the Al Birr charity. “I came with the association, and I am here to distribute water to pilgrims and help them with all their needs and questions,” Mansour told Arab News.

QUICKFACTS

• The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance distributed approximately 150,000 bottles of cold water to pilgrims.

• The police also distributed bottles of water to the pilgrims, in addition to assisting and guiding them.

• The Makkah Region Development Authority has equipped the area with over 600 water coolers for pilgrims to use while walking.

“I did this work as a good deed, and I just hope their pilgrimage will be completed and accepted,” he said.

Omar Al-Zahrani, a member of the Saudi Arabia Scouts Association in Arafat, said his team was handing out orange juice and cold water.

Indian couple Abdul Qadeer Pasha and Ayesha Afsar have been volunteering alongside the Indian Pilgrim Welfare Forum under the Indian Hajj Pilgrims Office at the Consulate General of India.

“I am a volunteer, and as a volunteer we have to lead the pilgrims, we have to serve them and we have to guide them,” Afsar said. “We are lucky to serve the people of Allah. We distribute juices, such as apple juice, orange juice and laban.

Afsar added that no fixed hours were devoted to volunteering; the time spent was entirely dependent on the availability of volunteers. She arrived in Arafat with her husband and the other volunteers before the Fajr prayer to prepare for the arrival of the pilgrims.

“I am very happy because I am doing the job for the sake of Allah at the Indian Consulate,” Pasha said. “We also provided wheelchairs for pilgrims.”

He added, “We all do our jobs for the love of Allah. They are guests of Allah, and we are both very happy, my wife and I, to be able to render this service to Allah.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance distributed around 150,000 bottles of cold water to pilgrims.

The police also distributed bottles of water to the pilgrims, in addition to helping and guiding them.

The Makkah Region Development Authority has equipped the area with more than 600 water coolers so that pilgrims can use them while walking.

A huge water sprinkler system has also been installed to help cool the pilgrims, reduce the heat and freshen the air.

Samaher Awadh, a pilgrim from Cairo who came to the Kingdom to perform her first Hajj, was impressed by the sprinklers, which she told her family in Egypt in a video call. “I really like those huge sprinklers. They helped us cool down in the heat.

Richard F. Gandhi