First Women-Only Hajj flight takes off from Karipur
9 June, 2023 | Divya Prajapat
John Barla, the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs, kicked off Kerala's first women-only Hajj aircraft on Thursday from Calicut International Airport in Karipur.
John Barla, the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs, kicked off Kerala’s first women-only Hajj aircraft on Thursday from Calicut International Airport in Karipur. Barla conducted the ceremonial flag-off and distributed boarding cards for the maiden flight. This is the first time in Kerala that exclusively women’s flights have been arranged for Hajj, with the aircraft’s crew and pilot being entirely female.
The inaugural flight from Kerala for women pilgrims without mehram or a male companion departed from Karipur at 6.45 p.m. on an Air India Express flight. It carried 145 female pilgrims and six female staff members. Barla praised the women-only flight as a triumph for women’s empowerment in the nation and urged the pilgrims to pray for the country’s prosperity, safety, and stability.
In addition to the 145 female pilgrims on the plane, the trip was unique in that all levels of dispatch, flight operation, loading, cleaning, engineering, ground service, and other related activities were carried out by women. The Minister inaugurated the distribution of boarding passes by presenting one to 76-year-old Sulaikha, the senior most member of the team.
The minister expressed his satisfaction with the preparations made by the state’s Hajj Committee for the pilgrims. Eleven flights are scheduled until Monday for women pilgrims departing from Karipur airport. A total of 1,595 women pilgrims belonging to the ‘ladies without Mehram’ category will depart on different days in these eleven flights, while the rest will travel on other flights.
In Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy stated that the government has constituted a Hajj Committee, which is accompanying the pilgrims to ensure a trouble-free journey. He made this announcement while meeting the group of Muslims departing for Mecca at the Haj House. This is the first time pilgrims are leaving for Hajj from the Vijayawada embarkation point. The CM wished the pilgrims all the best and assured them that Deputy Chief Minister Amjad Basha, who is accompanying them, will take care of their needs and inform him if necessary.
Millions of Muslims travel to Mecca for Hajj, a revered pilgrimage that provides the opportunity to establish a relationship with Allah, seek forgiveness, and strengthen their faith. This spiritual journey holds immense significance in the lives of believers. Many people sincerely desire to take part in the Hajj ceremonies and be among those making the pilgrimage to Mina, echoing the Labaik with the Crowd.
As Muslims from various nationalities, ethnicities, and backgrounds gather in the holy city of Makkah to carry out the rites together, the Hajj showcases outstanding unity. People from all walks of life come together for a shared goal, setting aside their differences and accepting one another as equals in the eyes of Allah. It is truly a magnificent sight.