With the arrival of Jalsa, thousands of women up and down the country were excitedly preparing for the three days of this blessed event. Weeks in advance, bags are being packed, clothes are carefully selected and shoes are chosen to match.
But wait, all is not as it seems! The clothes we’re packing aren’t the latest designs from Southall, the shoes we’re wearing aren’t 5 inch heels and the accessories we’re holding are not of the fashionable kind. These clothes are waterproof parkas to keep us dry when mother nature takes an unexpected course and fleeces to keep us warm in the dead of the night. Our shoes are wellies and boots, to protect us from the mud and allow us to go about our duties without worrying about the muddy ditches covering the Jalsa site.
For these women we are describing aren’t quite the women you may have expected. These are the women fully embracing the Lajna oath of devoting ones time, life and children for the sake of our religion. These are the volunteers who are staying up during the night to keep the Jalsa Gah secure, braving the elements to make the experience easier for the elderly, filming the proceedings to broadcast around the world and keeping the world informed through social media.
Behind the scenes of Jalsa, there are hundreds upon hundreds of women who work tirelessly morning and night to ensure that everything is running as it should and that all needs are being taken care of.
Our security teams work all night long, often leaving their family and young children at home to ensure the safety of the site. During Huzoor’s address at the Ladies’ Jalsa Gah, they head up the security in and around the entire site.
“It’s tiring and can be difficult with the cold weather, however, there is no feeling greater than being a part of this blessed event and devoting my time”
Our operations team is full of women of all ages fully immersed in the organization of every small detail of the Jalsa Salana. From managing and coordinating teams and delegates, to obtaining daily reports from every team on site and dealing with last minute crises.
“I feel very privileged to work here, it’s one of the departments where you see Jalsa from all angles and have a good overview of what’s happening – I especially like the challenge of problem solving!”
Lajna are also involved in production, filming Huzoor’s address delivered from the Ladies’ Jalsa Gah, ensuring sound checks are carried out and also seeing through the smooth transition between segments.
“This role is a huge honour as well as a huge responsibility, especially since it’s a live broadcast! Alhmadolillah everything went smoothly today”.
Let’s not forget the hundreds of other unsung heroes (heroines) helping to keep Jalsa running, whether it’s Nasirat doing water duty or Lajna running the crèche and working in the dining area serving guests, without these women, Jalsa would be incomplete.
As for social media… who do you think is posting this on Jalsa Connect right now?