THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The Ente Koodu facility opened for women who travel to the city for a short span of time, is proving to be a success. The project, started by the Social Justice Department caters to women and children below 12 years of age who come from economically backward families. Women travellers often find difficulty in finding safe places to stay. It is in such situations, places like Ente Koodu becomes useful, especially for women who have to move to new cities overnight as part of their job.
The shelter located on the eighth floor of the Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) terminal station complex at Thampanoor offers a wide range of facilities for women for free.The fully-air-conditioned room has a 50-bed facility. "Earlier there were no such travel-arrangements for women. We used to travel during morning hours to avoid being stranded at night. With facilities such as 'Ente Koodu', we have become confident about travelling during odd-hours since we are sure there are stay arrangements that are friendly for women," said Namitha Thomas, a student.
Food is provided by the Prison Department and is available from 5 pm onwards. Besides this, the facilities include a TV, kitchen, a washing machine, bathrooms among others. Twenty-four lockers have also been placed in the room where women can lock their luggage. Security guards are appointed for their safety.
The project was completed at an estimated cost of `25 lakh. where the rent is about `53,000 per month. Two workers have been appointed for maintenance of the room.
Ente Koodu proved beneficial during the IFFK when the facility was used by delegates who arrived from several districts. " We are getting a good response. More than 30 guests have already used the facility. Most of them who came for interviews and training have told they will return," said 'Ente Koodu' staff.
Jafar Malik, director of the Social Justice Department said they will open more similar facilities in the city. Women, who have been abandoned and don't have resources, or are travelling will benefit from the shelter. We had done a similar project in Kozhikode," he said.
◆ The fully air-conditioned room has a 50-bed facility
◆ Food is provided by the Prison Dept and is available from 5 pm. TV and washing-maching is provided