Women above 45 can travel without male kin: Haj policy

Women above 45 can travel without male kin: Haj policy

Abolishing subsidy for Haj pilgrims and allowing women above 45 to travel in a group of at least four without a male member are some of the key highlights of a proposed Haj policy drafted by a committee appointed by the Centre, sources said.

The proposed Haj Policy 2018–22 by the panel headed by former secretary Afzal Amanullah also recommends bringing down the number of embarkation points (EPs) from which pilgrims can take flights to Saudi Arabia from the present 21 to nine — Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Cochin.

Suitable Haj houses will be built at these EPs to which states and districts will be tagged properly.

The draft was submitted to Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi here on Sunday.

Till now, women pilgrims were not allowed to travel without a male ‘mehram’. The term ‘mehram’ refers to a man whom a woman cannot marry at anytime in her life (like her father, brother or son).

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