Wheelchair service in Grand Mosque beefed up

MAKKAH: The Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs said it has made available 5,000 wheelchairs and 100 electric wheelchairs for elderly and disabled pilgrims during Ramadan.Pilgrims can obtain wheelchairs free of charge from an office in the eastern courtyard of the Grand Mosque between the Asr prayer and midnight, according to a statement from the presidency.

The presidency has also supplied 100 automatic wheelchairs, which pilgrims can get from the Al-Safa office on the first floor of the Grand Mosque.This is apart from more than 500 paid wheelchairs available at the ground floor near Safa.Wheelchairs can be pushed in and out of the mosque through 18 gates, including the escalators of Al-Arqam, Al-Marwah, Murad, Al-Fatah and Al-Qarara.

The office, which is responsible for issuing permits to wheelchair pushers, ensures that wheelchairs are not misused and pushers do not charge high rates to pilgrims.It also ensures that the tracks meant for wheelchairs are free of obstructions and no unlicensed wheelchair pushers work inside the mosque.The presidency also appealed to pilgrims to take care of and return the wheelchairs soon after they are used. It also warned those who seek the help of wheelchair pushers not to pay more than the fixed charge and not to use services of unlicensed people. – Arabnews