For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the nation is set to send people from the transgender community as Hajj volunteers for the 2018 Hajj pilgrimage. The community members will be part of a team of more than 150 boy scouts.
The inclusion of the transgender people in the Hajj volunteer team is likely to be a continuous activity followed every year.
As reported by Daily Pakistan:
At least two to three transgender persons will be selected from each of the remaining three provinces for joining the scouting community that leaves for Saudi Arabia every year. -the Boy Scout Commissioner Atif Amin Hussain
The recruitment process
Blue Veins, a transgender welfare organization is coordinating with the IPC to connect and help the community members be part of the Hajj. As per the routine, the volunteers will have to undergo a physical training followed by a test; after which the Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs will shortlist the candidates.
“The recruitment process for Khuddamul Hujjaj includes physical training and a test. After that, the PBSA sends a list of successful candidates to the Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony for a final approval,” Husain said, explaining the process.
Significance of the move
By joining the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association, the transgender youth is likely to get social acceptance, feel secure, attain confidence and move forward. Blue Veins Programme Coordinator Qamar Naseem said that after the recruitment of 40 people from the transgender community in Sindh, the organization is planning recruitments from Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
“This can be a game changer and can significantly improve the social acceptance of transgender youth in our society.” Said Naseem.
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims around the world. A series of duties need to be carried out at the holy place to complete the Hajj. It is obligatory for the Muslims who are physically and financially fit and can support their family during their absence. It is one of the five pillars of Islam alongside, Shahadah (Iman), Salah (Prayer/Namaz), Zakat (Alms-giving) and Sawm (Fasting during the month of Ramadan).