Five golf carts unable to meet demand of elderly pilgrims

These golf carts are meant to facilitate the transportation of elderly and ailing pilgrims inside the Haram courtyard.

These golf carts are meant to facilitate the transportation of elderly and ailing pilgrims inside the Haram courtyard.

Elderly and ailing pilgrims are experiencing difficulty in commuting in the sprawling courtyard of the Grand Mosque in Makkah due to lack of electric carts meant to help them.

The transport facility for elderly pilgrims is provided by the authorities from north and eastern parts of mosque up to King Abdul Aziz Gate (Bab Abdul Aziz). It is available around the clock. However, few pilgrims are able to utilize the service.

The battery-operated golf carts are driven by staff of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs. The service was launched last year to help pilgrims with special needs to move from one place to another.

This year there is huge rush of Umrah pilgrims. Many of them suffer from some ailment or the other and experience difficulty in reaching the Grand Mosque. Due to the ongoing expansion activity many entrances are closed and pilgrims have to make detours, taxing the elderly. Elderly pilgrims find it difficult to walk from Ajyad Tunnel to King Abdul Aziz Gate.

“After entering the Haram courtyard from the Ajyad area, it took me more than half an hour to reach King Fahd Gate,” said Yousufunnisa, an Indian woman pilgrim, who has arthritis.

“I wish I could use any mode of transportation to reach any gate that leads me into the Grand Mosque,” said Umm Radwan, an elderly Egyptian woman, who in in the Kingdom for Umrah.

Ahmed Al-Mansuri, spokesperson for the presidency, denied lack of golf carts. He said five carts are being operated by the presidency for elderly people to facilitate their movement in the north, eastern and central parts of the Haram courtyard.

 

 

 

 



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