CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday issued comprehensive guidelines to ensure the safety of girl students, adolescent girls and working women staying in hostels/homes across Tamil Nadu and directed all institutions that run hostels and homes to adhere to them immediately. Separate guidelines have been issued for the appointment of hostel wardens, besides instructions to the district administration that monitors their functioning.
Decisions to this effect were taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister at the Secretariat. At an earlier high-level meeting with senior ministers and officials after the rape of two girls living a Pollachi home, she had asked them to draft guidelines to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
Stating that the new guidelines would completely check the incidents of sexual violence, Jayalalithaa, in a statement here, sought full cooperation from the managements of the hostels, parents and the public. She recalled that her government was the first to frame a 13-point action plan to ensure the safety of women in the State shortly after the gang-rape of a girl in Delhi in 2012 that shocked the nation.
The children welfare committee should frequently check whether the new guidelines are implemented and officials should ensure that the inmates are not physically or mentally affected, the Chief Minister said.
The guidelines include conducting awareness camps about the registration of these hostels/homes with the district administration through the media; Child Helpline 1098; and hosting the list of hostels/homes on the website of the district administration.
The new instructions specify that hostels/homes for girls should be established only in buildings that have sufficient security paraphernalia and other infrastructure. Prior approval of the buildings by authorities is mandatory.
If the hostel/home accommodates boys and girls, separate buildings for both sexes should be built. If boys and girls happen to stay in the same buildings, they should be given separate rooms. Women alone should be appointed as wardens in hostels and homes for adolescent girls and women. Besides, there should be one warden for every 50 children. Round-the-clock security must be ensured at all hostels/homes. If there is more than one entrance to the hostel/home, security personnel should be posted at all entrances. Any hostel/home with over 50 inmates must install a closed circuit TV & Digital Video Recorder. Round-the-clock security must be ensured at all hostels/homes. If there is more than one entrance to the hostel/home, security personnel should be posted at all entrances. The warden or in-charge person should make alternative arrangements if they go on leave and the management of the hostel/home should ensure engagement of in-charge persons in the absence of the regular staff. The warden or assistant warden should be present in the hostel/home 24X7.
For security personnel, the buildings where the girls and women stay are no-go areas. They should stay at the rooms allocated to them. All hostels and homes should have compound walls on all sides and doors must have locks.
The inmates should record their outgoing and incoming timings on the register and there should be a roll call of all inmates before they go to bed. Only parents or the persons recognised by them should be allowed to meet the inmates. The meeting should take place in the reception alone under supervision of the warden. Visitors should not be allowed to enter the hostel and a visitor’s book should be maintained.