Religion Ministry Focuses on Elderly Program, Hajj Risk Mitigation

Kamis, 22 Februari 2024 – 11:30 WIB

Jakarta – Director General of Hajj and Umrah of the Ministry of Religious Affairs Hilman Latief appreciated the implementation of elderly-friendly hajj services in the organization of the 1444 H/2023 M hajj.

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However, Latief requested that the quality of this year’s elderly-friendly Hajj implementation be improved, especially in the aspects of the program and risk mitigation. 

Indonesian pilgrims aged 65 years and over during the 1444 AH/2023 AD Hajj pilgrimage very large, around 61,000 people or around 30 percent of the 229,000 total quota of Indonesian pilgrims at that time.

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There are nine efforts made by the Ministry of Religious Affairs to realize the Elderly Friendly Hajj in 2023, namely:

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1) Involving geriatric specialists in the preparation of guidelines;

2) Developing an Elderly Friendly Hajj Manasik guidebook;

3) Prepare elderly-friendly transportation facilities (shawalat bus);

4) Provide special waiting rooms and develop a scheme for placing elderly pilgrims in hotels;

5) Reducing ceremonial activities at embarkation;

6) Holding technical guidance for the Hajj Organizing Committee (PPIH) with an emphasis on the spirit of Elderly Friendly Hajj;

7) Educating elderly pilgrims not to push themselves and providing an understanding of various alternative facilities in the Hajj;

8) Involving other Hajj pilgrims to increase awareness of the elderly; and 9) Establishing cross-party synergy in providing wheelchairs.

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“Elderly Friendly Hajj in the aspect of service is good enough. This is reflected in the organization of the 2023 Hajj. But please strengthen this program,” Latief said when opening the Coordination Meeting of the Elderly Friendly Hajj Program and Risk Mitigation for Hajj Year 1445 H in Bekasi, on Wednesday. 

“We need to finalize the Elderly Friendly Hajj program starting from before the pilgrims leave, while in Saudi Arabia, and when they return or after hajj,” he added. 

Latief said that the Elderly-Friendly Hajj is the Government’s concern along with the projection of future pilgrims whose ages will continue to increase.

“It has only been implemented for a year and has been responded well. This is an input from the Minister of Religion to continue to be developed. It’s the responsibility of all of us to improve the entire business process of Elderly Friendly Hajj, starting from the philosophy, basic concepts, programs, and services.” 

In addition to strengthening the program, Latief also touched on risk mitigation and emergency scenarios for the 1445 H/2024 AD Hajj.

According to Latief, emergency scenarios need to be prepared from the start, including efforts to streamline communication in mitigating all potential problems.

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3) Prepare elderly-friendly transportation facilities (shawalat bus);

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