NEW DELHI: The government’s decision to lift a ban on Muslim women undertaking Haj pilgrimage without ‘Mehram’ (a male companion) has generated “positive” results, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said today.
According to a statement, Naqvi made the comments while referring to a “large number” of applications the Haj Committee of India (HCoI) has received under the category.
Under the category, Muslim women aged above 45 will be allowed to go for the pilgrimage without ‘Mehram’ in a group of at least four.
“The Narendra Modi government’s decision to lift the ban concerned has generated very positive results as Muslim women, from across the country, are applying in a large number under this category,” the statement quoted Naqvi as saying.
The minority affairs minister made the remarks while launching a portal for private tour operators (PTOs) here.
“This is another important step towards women empowerment by the government,” Naqvi added.
The application process for Haj 2018 started on November 15 and more than 1,000 women have applied under the category.
More than 2.63 lakh people have applied for undertaking the annual Haj pilgrimage till December 13. Out of this, 1.38 lakh applications have been received online.
“It has given a boost to the ministry’s decision to make entire Haj process digital. Besides, people are also applying through mobile app,” he said.
Naqvi said the previous distribution formula for quota between the HCoI and PTOs (73.53 per cent and 26.47 per cent, respectively) has been retained.