Source: Press Trust of India
INDRAPRASTH, INDIA, February 6, 2001: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved a US$32 million to enable 72,000 Indian Muslim pilgrims to undertake the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca this year. Pilgrims are expected to pay for $260 out of the total air fare of $717. They can depart from Delhi Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, with flights to Saudi Arabia all departing and arriving from Shrinagar and Jammu. Devout Muslims are expected to make the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. Government funds covered much of the cost of the Hindus' Kumbha Mela, and Christians in India have approached the government for subsidies for pilgrimage to Jerusalem.