THIRUVANANTHAPURAM They used to stand in front of big doors helplessly - for, the institutions built by the ‘abled’ were not meant for them. But now, the differently-abled women have something to cheer about. A home built solely for them, keeping only their needs in mind and equipped with facilities that suit only them, has turned a reality.
A shelter for disabled women under the care of the Department of Social Justice (SJD) opened at the ‘Social Justice Complex’, Poojappura on Thursday. The home has been designed specially for disabled women, focusing on their special needs.
“This is the first time that a shelter home has been built exclusively for disabled women. The kitchen, bathrooms, wash basins and each and every facility here has been tailored to meet the needs of these women and will reduce the hardships they face in their daily life to a great extent,” said superintendent of the home Suma Devi V.
There are ramps almost everywhere in the building, enabling the women to move with less effort. As many as 34 women, who are at present accommodated at the work shed of the Mahila Mandiram - a home for destitute women under the SJD - will be shifted to the new shelter.
There are two big dormitories at the home for the disabled, which can house up to 75 women.
The building, having an area of 7,300 square feet, has been constructed at a cost of Rs 1.20 crore and the work was completed in 15 months.
The home, though functioning under the SJD, is run by the City Corporation. Units for garment-designing, flower-making, stitching and soap and lotion manufacturing for the disabled women that at present are functioning at Mahila Mandiram will also be shifted to the new home, built quite near the Mandiram.
The work on the new shelter started in 2003, but was abandoned at the ‘skeleton’ stage. The attempt to restart the work began in 2013 which has now been completed ahead of schedule.
‘Nirbhaya Home will be Made a Gender Park’
Strengthening the safety of the ‘Nirbhaya’ home inmates is a prime focus of the Social Justice Department and discussions will be held with the Home Department to make the safety measures more effective, Minister M K Muneer has said.
Inaugurating the shelter for the differently-abled women here on Thursday, Muneer added that the aim is to upgrade the Nirbhaya home here to a gender park. “Much reforms have to be implemented to improve the functioning of the Nirbhaya homes. The plan is to make the Nirbhaya homes in the state a model for the country,” the Minister said.
V Sivankutty MLA, who presided over the function, said that vehicles will be purchased for the use of the inmates of the home for the disabled using the money from his constituency fund.
Director of Social Justice V N Jithendran delivered the welcome speech. Manju, a differently abled woman and an inmate of the home, lighted the traditional lamp. Mayor K Chandrika and actor Kollam Thulasi, among others, spoke.