The Tamil Nadu State Hajj Committee was constituted in 1958 by the Government of Tamil Nadu. After the enactment of the Haj Committee Act, 2002, (Central Act No.35 of 2002), the State Government has been constituting the Tamil Nadu State Hajj Committee for a period of three years to look after the welfare of the Hajj pilgrims and also for making necessary arrangements for the successful performance of Hajj pilgrimage with the guidance of Haj Committee of India and Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi
1. Constitution of the Committee
2. Functions of the Committee:
The main functions of the Committee are as follows:
- Receiving of applications from the intending pilgrims and selection of applicants for Hajj pilgrimage from among the residents of Tamil Nadu, by draw of lots using computer software.
- Periodical instructions to the pilgrims about payment of advance haj amount, balance haj amount, airfare and other dues to the Haj Committee of India, Mumbai.
- Sending officials in Building Selection Team to Saudi Arabia for selection of suitable buildings at Makkah and Madinah in coordination with Consulate General of India.
- Deputation of Hajj volunteers to look after the welfare of the pilgrims from Tamil Nadu during their stay in Saudi Arabia.
- Liaise with the Regional Passport Offices for obtaining passports for the intending pilgrims.
- Printing and supply of hand book on Hajj and Umrah free of cost in Tamil language every year to the pilgrims.
- Arranging transit accommodation to the out-station pilgrims and providing transport from accommodation centres to airport and back, etc. during operation of hajj flights from Chennai to Jeddah/Madinah and back.
- Holding of orientation/training programmes at various district/taluk headquarters to educate the selected pilgrims on travel formalities and procedures/rituals to be observed during the pilgrimage.
- Conducting inoculation camps for administering vaccination against meningitis and administering of Polio drops in various districts based on the number of pilgrims.
- Arranging for accommodation to the Hajj pilgrims at Makkah and Madinah.
- Coordinating with various agencies of Central and State Government, the Haj Committee of India, Mumbai etc, and other agencies such as Air India, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Airports Authority of India, Immigration, Customs, BCAS, etc., and the services of other voluntary organisations for smooth and successful Hajj flight operations.
- Other incidental activities relating to Hajj pilgrimage.
3. Arrangements for Hajj pilgrimage:
The Government of India distributes quota allotted for the country among various States based on Muslim population as per the census of 2011 and the State Hajj Committee calls for applications from the intending pilgrims. Every year, the Committee receives more applications than the quota allotted and the pilgrims are selected by holding districtwise Qurrah (draw of lots) as per the quota allotted for Tamil Nadu.
Direct flight operations were started from Chennai embarkation point since 1987 for Hajj pilgrims of Southern States from Chennai to Jeddah and back. Later new embarkation points were also notified such as Hyderabad, Bangalore (Bengaluru), Mangalore and Calicut (Kozhikode) for the operation of flights directly from the respective States. Chennai is presently serving as embarkation point for pilgrims from Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andaman & Nicobar Islands only.
The State Hajj Committee carries out its functions as per the guidelines of the Haj Committee of India and it has no role in the finalisation of flight schedule, allotment of accommodation etc., which are being done by Haj Committee of India and Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.