Heart breaking Hajj disasters in the past could have been prevented had pilgrims been equipped with lifesaving health and safety information along with knowledge of precautionary measures. It is highly regrettable that the vast majority of attending pilgrims do not have the appropriate knowledge of the risks involved when they are performing Hajj rituals amongst a crowd of over two million people, especially in extremely harsh weather. It is vital that pilgrims are also informed and well-prepared to perform a safe Hajj while facing the various living conditions when traveling from one place to another for Hajj rituals.
As this year’s Hajj approaches, the Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK, a national Hajj/Umrah- specific organization working for the wellbeing of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, in a letter to the Saudi Hajj Mininster Dr. Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten, strongly urges that we must learn a lesson from past Hajj disasters by addressing the root cause of these tragedies: lack of awareness and vital lifesaving information amongst pilgrims. A Hajj/Umrah health and safety training course should be devised to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of the millions of pilgrims. This training course should also include awareness of all aspects of performing Hajj pilgrimage. The course should be made mandatory for prospective Hajj pilgrims from around the world; they must undertake this training course before they are allowed to travel to perform Hajj. The relevant countries from around the world should be asked to dispense the contents of this training course.
‘Informed pilgrims will be able to safeguard their own wellbeing and help prevent any future Hajj tragedies. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can also save on significant amount of resources which they are currently spending to ensure the safety and wellbeing of pilgrims,’ said Khalid Pervez, General Secretary of Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK.