PATNA: Altogether 2,210 pilgrims from Bihar are this year scheduled to go on the Hajj pilgrimage, which had been suspended for the past couple of years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing a 'Duaiya' function here late on Sunday evening, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed his good wishes to those "chosen by God for this extraordinary opportunity".
"The state government will be sending along 14 officials and personnel who shall ensure that the pilgrims face no inconvenience in course of the journey and during their stay abroad," he said.
Kumar noted that the number of Haj pilgrims this year has been much less compared with the pre-Covid era, and those aged above 65 years of age were still not being allowed to travel.
"I sincerely wish that this dreaded virus becomes a thing of the past. However in view of the situation that prevails, we are taking all precautions including vaccination," he added.
The CM, who is often appreciated for maintaining a "secular" image, also expressed the belief that virtue accrued by Hajj pilgrimage brought about "progress in the society" and fostered "a spirit of brotherhood".
According to sources in the government, the Hajj pilgrims will be leaving for Kolkata, by train and bus, later this week. The Bihar government will also ensure their well-being while they stay at the Kolkata Hajj House, en route to Mecca.
(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)