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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightHaj quota: not enough...

Haj quota: not enough applicants to fill quota

Haj quota: not enough applicants to fill quota

Karippur: With the Saturday deadline for applications for 2019 haj drawing near, if the trend so far is anything to go by, the number of applicants is not likely to touch the quota figure. In the coming haj year 1,25,000 in all will be eligible for haj from India. Out of this, till Tuesday only 1,10,000 applications were received. And this against 3,55,604 aplicants last year.

The reasons attributed to the lower number of applicants are the change in haj policy and economic crisis. The main policy change that affected haj applicants is the withdrawal of the reservation that was available earlier for ifth time applicants. Previously, many aspirants filed applications hoping for their turn in the fifth year, by which time they would get mentally and financially ready too. However, in 2018 all applications were pooled together for lots to select pilgrims.

In view of the fewer number of applicants, the Central Haj Committee which is to meet on Friday, is likely to consider extending the last date.

Last year, several applicants had filed applications hoping to get a favouable judgement from the court. But this year, most, if not all, of the applications are from new applicants. Only those who have the financial capacity to perform haj have applied this time.

In Kerala, the number of applicants has come down drastically from previous years' levels. Only 24,078 applications were received till Wednesday. Out of this 776 are above the age of 70, and so are guaranteed selection. In the category of women above 45 without mehram (close male relative with whom marriage is forbidden) 936 have applied. In the general category, 22,366 applications have been received.

In 2018, there were 69,783 applications as against 95,238 in 2017 and 76,417 in 2016.

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