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Hajis of age 70+ to go for Hajj without draw

New Delhi: Ministry of foreign affairs has taken a decision on 31 March 2011 that there will be no draw of lots for intending Hajis who are 70 years old or above and they can proceed for Haji after applying for it. The ministry has also decided that one more person can accompany such a Haji to take care of him. This means that such Haji's spouse/wife can also go for Hajj even if she is less than 70 years of age. Such Hajis have simply to apply for Hajj and they will be allowed to proceed if other conditions are fulfilled. This information was given by Dr. Shakir Husain, CEO of Haj Committee of India. This decision of the ministry is in fact in response to a request made by a delegation of some Muslim MPs and members of Haj Committee of India to the external affairs minister S.M. Krishna who met him in the month of March and requested that Hajis of 70 years and above, because of their advanced age, may be deprived of Haj if their names do not come in the draw. Hence they may be allowed to go without a draw. The minister accepted their request and his ministry took this decision. This is yet another concession to some of the intending Hajis. First concession was made last year (2010) when it was decided that if the name of an intending Haji does not come in the draw of lot for three consecutive years, for the fourth year he will be allowed to go for Hajj automatically. Now this year (2011) such a concession has been made in case of intending Hajis who are 70 years old or above. It may be stated that distribution of Haj application forms for the year 2011 has started from 16 March and last date of submission of these forms was 30 April, 2011.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 May 2011 on page no. 21

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