THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Women who have to travel during the nights are often at risk of not finding a place to stay. Taking into consideration the number of women who arrive in the city for travel and other emergencies, the Social Justice Department have opened ‘Ente Koodu’ which will offer night stay facility for economically backward women and children including boys below 12 years.
The shelter located at the 8th floor of the Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) terminal station complex at Thampanoor offers a wide range of facilities which are free of cost. The arrangements have been made under the District Social Justice Officer.
Around 50 women can be accommodated at the air-conditioned facility which boasts of 50 beds. Food items including chapathi provided by the Prison Department will be made available from 5 pm onwards. Besides this, TV, washing machines, bathroom and kitchen facilities will also be available. Twenty-four lockers have also been placed in the room so that there are no safety issues. A security will also be appointed on all days for women and children’s safety.
The project was completed at an estimated cost of Rs 25 lakh. The rent is Rs 53,000 per month and the maintenance cost is about 9 lakh. Two workers have been appointed who will be in-charge of keeping the place neat and clean. “ There are many women who reach the city alone in the evening or at night for interviews, competitive examinations but they have to rely on their relatives or friends due to safety issues. The women can avail the facility for three days continuously.
If this is successful, we plan to start the shelter homes at other places,” said K K Shailaja, officially inaugurating the night shelter.
Jafar Malik, director of Social Justice said the shelter will benefit those women who are abandoned, have financial difficulties and don’t have anyone to support them. “We have done a similar project in Kozhikode which has benefitted many women,” said Jafar. Biju Prabhakar, secretary of Social Justice said shelters will be helpful forwomen to travel freely.
Other programmes have also been planned for elderly people, transgenders, women and children. A contribution of Rs 1,31,845 collected from orphanages and other social welfare programmes was handed to K K Shailaja towards the CMDRF.