Absence of Khadims to shabby hotels, women without Mehram raise concern
The women without Mahram, who are presently performing the Hajj, accused the government of depriving them from the basic facilities, saying that the shabby condition of hotels, their long distance, no Khadim for training them have affected their journey in the ongoing pilgrimage badly.
Talking to KIF, a group of women from Kashmir said that they are being pushed to the wall as despite claiming high and tall about providing special facilities and making special arrangements for them, they have been left on god’s mercy at Azizia, which is nearly 14 kilomters away from Harram Sharif.
“We were told that the accommodation will be close to the Harram Sharif, but we have been given accommodation nearly 14 kilometres away,” one of the pilgrims said, adding that there has been no medical and other facilities available for them as she was forced to buy even a ‘strepsil’ from the market.
“Most of the women, who are performing Hajj for the first time without Mahram are suffering from different health issue, but unfortunately there is no one to help them out and even the wheeler chairs are being managed by the fellow pilgrims to them,” she said, adding that this is happening despite paying hefty sum for the special facilities.
Interestingly, she said the women Khadims, who have been deputed to train them have not appeared even once to guide the lady pilgrims and teach them the ‘Arkans’ of Hajj, which they are going to perform.
“Most of the women are illiterate and don’t even understand the Urdu language. Who will be guiding them here? Who will teach them? How will they perform Hajj,” she questioned.
“In case our issues are not redressed, we will raise our voices and never encourage anyone to perform the Hajj without Mahram,” the group of lady pilgrims said.
Executive Officer, Jammu & Kashmir Hajj Committee (JKHC), Dr Shujaat Ahmad Qureshi said that the coordinator has been deputed for every building to help the pilgrims there.
“The Khadims have been deputed already and they will start training them soon. However, if the pilgrims are facing hardships, they should approach the coordinator in this regard and get the issue resolved,” he said.
Nonetheless, the women group stated that no coordinator has been deputed for them as they have not seen anyone so far to help them out.
Mahram is an Arabic word used for an official or legal guardian of a woman, who is related by blood to whom she cannot get married to, after marriage even the husband of a woman becomes a Mahram for her. Islamic scholars in the past had collectively made it imperative for a Muslim woman to perform Hajj accompanied by a Mahram, the reason being safety and security.
132 women have applied for Hajj this year without Mahram from Jammu and Kashmir this year.