Hajj (Pilgrimage) is one of the holiest rites for Muslims around the world and Millions of Muslims travel from all over the globe to gather at Mecca and perform this Holy activity. Despite the several modifications that the Saudi Authorities keep making every few years at Mecca to provide more ease and comfort to the Hajjis and to prevent any Disasters or calamities from taking place, the Hajjis still face some major Problems. One of the most often heard complaints by the Hajjis is about losing their loved ones in the huge waves of crowds that keep moving around the Kaaba. It is very hard for them to communicate with their family members in such a mobile crowd and the person who gets lost not only undergoes stress but is also pushed away into the crowd and is unable to understand where he is and where he should go to get help.
The Saudi Government held a Tech and coding Competition this year just before the Holy Month of Hajj called ‘Hackathon’. The Sole purpose of this marathon was for teams of students and professionals to compete and develop various solutions using Technology to solve the problems and difficulties faced by the Hajjis.
One of the Teams competing in the marathon included Two Pakistanis and two east Asians who Co-Developed an App called ‘Virtual Leash’ that can be accessed using Bluetooth enabled wristbands which will help Hajjis to find the locations of their lost Loved ones in the immense crowd gathered at Mecca. This is a truly Proud moment for Pakistan as a nation, as this device not only will help all the families performing hajj in Mecca but will also represent our nation’s talents and good will to the world.
This is a big step towards an even smoother and safer Hajj for everyone. We all know how immensely catastrophic any mishap can be at a gathering so large. The Stampede in Mina Valley in 2015 that killed around 700 people and was followed by the tragic Crane incident near Mecca that killed more than 100 people and injured more than 200 people near that area are some reminders of just how difficult and dangerous this holy Pilgrimage can be if any accidents do occur.
We hope that more talented and bright people from our nation take up the initiative to help develop more ideas and solutions for the problems the hajjis face and we pray that the Hajj for this year and the coming years is free from any disasters and tragedies. Ameen