MALAPPURAM: In a revolutionary move, Kerala State Haj Committee has got its first woman member. INL leader and Kanhangad municipality vice-chairperson L Sulaikha will serve the Haj Committee for the next two years.
“It is a happy occasion and I am glad to serve the committee,” Sulaikha told Express.
The INL Kanhangad constituency committee secretary received official confirmation from officers concerned on Saturday, and she is all set to leave for Thiruvananthapuram to attend the new committee’s first meeting. Sualikha said that she will give emphasis on reducing the inconveniences faced by women pilgrims to Mecca. “In fact, females outnumber male pilgrims when it comes to Haj, and it’s the need of the hour to ensure women representation in Haj Committee,” she said.
This year, around 1,120 women applicants have left for Mecca without Mahram (male escort) after reforms were brought in the revised Haj policy by the Haj Committee of India. This relaxation for women was brought in lines with changes in Saudi Arabia’s Haj rule. In 2014, Saudi changed its rule that prevented women from performing Haj without related male or husband.
A graduate in English Language and Literature, Sulaikha was elected to Kanhangad municipality for the first time in 2010; she was the health standing committee chairperson in the civic body.
Sulaikha is thankful to INL leadership: “The support extended by my leaders helped me get the new position.”
Sulaikha’s husband Abdul Ameer is a Qatar-based businessman. Their daughter, Fathimath Naj Beegum, is third class student. Apart from Sulaikha, the new committee has P V Abdul Wahab MP, MLAs Karat Razak and Muhammed Muhsin, Bahauddeen Muhammed Nadwi, Kadakkal Abdul Azeez Moulavi, C Mohammed Faizy, Abdu Rahman, Musliyar Sajeer, Anas MS, VT Abdullakoya Thangal, Mohammed Qasim Koya, H Muzammil Haji and PK Ahammed as elected members. Besides, Kerala State Wakf Board chairman Syed Rasheed Ali Shihab Thangal and Malappuram district collector Amit Meena are ex officio members.
The first meeting, which is to be held in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, will elect the new chairman.