NEW DELHI: For the first time, 32 Muslim women are all set to leave for Haj pilgrimage without a male guardian or relative.
Out of these 32 women, 12 are from Lucknow, 12 from Kanpur, four from Amethi and Gonda each.
Earlier, the Ministry of Minority Affairs had said that Muslim women aged above 45 will be allowed to go for the pilgrimage without 'mahram' or male guardian in a groups of four.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his last Mann ki Baat radio address on December 31, 2017, had said the government has removed the restriction that made it compulsory for women to travel with a male relative or guardian.
The decision was taken after hundreds of women applied for travelling alone for Haj, said Modi.
"I am happy to note that this time about 1300 Muslim women have applied to perform Haj without 'mahram' and women from different parts of the country from Kerala to north India, have expressed their wish to go for the Haj pilgrimage," he had added.
The Centre's move to allow women above 45 go on Haj did not go down well with some Muslim clerics.