Record Number of Women to Participate in Hajj without ‘Mehram’ in 2024
The Haj Committee of India has announced a groundbreaking development for the upcoming Haj pilgrimage in 2024. In a historic move, a total of 5,162 women have applied to go for Haj without a ‘mehram’ (male companion), marking the largest number since the reform was introduced in 2018, which eliminated the requirement of a male companion for women undertaking the pilgrimage.
Applications for Haj 2024 have been received from 6,370 women above 70 years of age, alongside the 5,162 women who intend to go on the pilgrimage without a ‘mehram’. Notably, all applications from women above 70 and those opting to go without a ‘mehram’ were accepted without undergoing the draw of lots process.
The draw of lots for the Haj applicants was conducted under the guidance and supervision of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, with a total of 1,74,117 applications received for Haj by the Haj Committee. The final quota of 1,75,025 pilgrims from India has been established for Haj 2024.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Haj Committee of India, Liaquat Ali Afaqi, revealed that out of the 5,162 women undertaking Haj without a ‘mehram’, the majority hail from Kerala, followed by representatives from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir, and other regions across the country.
In a significant shift, the randomisation process for the selection of pilgrims was successfully completed in a shorter timeframe compared to previous years, with the entire process from 11 am to 03 pm witnessing the participation of representatives from various State/UT Haj Committees.
In line with the government’s digital initiatives and a focus on transparency, the Haj portal has been revamped with the latest IT infrastructure and services, aiming to facilitate the Haj pilgrims across the country.
This record number of women participating in Haj without a ‘mehram’ marks a progressive step in ensuring equal access to the pilgrimage for women. The Haj Committee’s efforts in streamlining the selection process and embracing technological advancements are commendable, potentially enhancing the experience for pilgrims.
This development underscores the commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in religious pilgrimages while leveraging modern technology for efficient and transparent administrative processes.