Jeddah Hajj Welfare Forum
Jeddah Hajj Welfare Forum, is a voluntary body working for the welfare of Indian Hajis. More than 20 social, cultural and religious organizations of Kerala Community in Jeddah join together during Hajj season to make a common platform for performing Hajj related volunteer services to the Indian Hajis. By organizing such services for the last 10 years under the banner of Jeddah Hajj Welfare Forum, the body has gained substantial experience and expertise in Hajj services and widely accepted among the local community as well as by the Local Hajj Ministry, Service Forums, Hajj Missions, Indian Consulate and Muthawefs. Currently, the Jeddah Hajj Welfare Forum has a commitment of more than 500 volunteers to offer Hajj related services during the pilgrim season.
Jeddah Hajj Welfare Forum is focusing, not restricted, on the following areas of their service to the Indian Hajis: –
1. Airport assistance at Arrival & Departure points to the extent possible
2. Emergency Medical Aid Services ( Wheel Chairs, Medicines, Ambulances, Motor Cycles, etc. are lined up and support from Polyclinics at different locations is pre-arranged.)
3. Assisting the burial of deceased Hajis with required documentation from the related authorities, and the relatives of such Hajis will be supported during the time of their crisis.
4. Being Camped in Mina and the suburbs, our volunteers ensure to guide the proper direction to the Hajis with site maps to the sites of Hajj rituals from time to time and back to their respective camps/ tents etc.
5. Lost & Found Services to Hajis at all Hajj locations.
6. Food Supply Services to the maximum possible.
God willing, we shall continue to extend the above services in the years to come with more zeal and enthusiasm and we are getting wholehearted support from the community in all respects.
We observe that when compared to the Private Groups, the Hajis belonging to Central Hajj Committee suffer a lot in the Hajj locations.
On the basis of our past experience we have some suggestions to put forward to the attention and for the kind consideration of Central Hajj Committee, as it is the policy makers for a smooth and successful Hajj pilgrimage in the years to come.
1. Hajis from one State should not be allocated under different Muthawefs. If efforts are made to distribute Hajis State wise to Mutawefs, then their accommodation and movement will be in the same group.
2. There will be more secured feeling among Hajis if they stayed together in a group who speak same language and share the same food by assisting each other. Hajis staying together in one building can help each other during the time of emergencies such as helping those who missed direction and sickness or even at death.
3. When Buildings in Makkah and Madinah are selected, the assistance of local Indian expatriates could be sought for selecting good quality accommodation. The Hajj Welfare Forum workers can also assist effectively in this matter if required.
4. Indian Hajis are suffering a lot in Mina as food is not provided by the Muthawef while the food is provided by the Private Groups. There must be a solution for this problem. Similarly there should be an agreement with Muthawef for providing food with an extra payment for such service. (It is only a matter of SR 100 for 5 days Hajj and even if some are not using it, the expense will be marginal). The catering service will be easier if Muthawefes are allocated state wise.
5. Considering the accommodation constraints, in and around Makkah and Madinah Harams, due to expansion activities, it is vital that the numbers of Pilgrims should be decided based on the available accommodation facilities. There is no doubt that the tremendous increase of pilgrims in the last moment without prior arrangement for accommodation, travel and medical facilities would end up in the hardship of pilgrims. Hence, it should be avoided.
6. When Hajj volunteers from India are selected, they should know Arabic and English than Indian languages. Preferences should be given to the willing volunteers from Saudi Arabian returnees with minimum 10 years working experience in Makkah, Jeddah or surrounding areas given their capability to deliver assistance in Makkah.
7. There are exploitations of Hajis by some unscrupulous Private Hajj Group Operators. Their ways of exploitation have to be monitored and their operations should be stopped. More accountability by the Private Groups should be enforced.
8. Indian Hajj Mission should facilitate easy servicing of Indian Hajis with the Volunteers of Hajj Welfare Forum by issuing them “Volunteer I.D. Cards” so that they will have easy approach to Muthawefs Hajj Tents, Medical Clinics, and Security Personnel in Hajj sites.
Source: Jeddah Hajj Welfare