RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM : The 127-year-old Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu Sthree Sadanam is a home for 39 underprivileged girls from Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu, a social reformer, started Victoria Widows’ Home through his charitable trust Hitakarini Samajam. In 1985, the then TDP government took over Hitakarini trust properties. Former Chief Minister NT Rama Rao inaugurated a new building in 1986. The Victoria Widows’ Home was renamed as Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu Sthree Sadanam. Since then it is being run by women and child welfare department.
The State government has been providing free food and accommodation to the girls and has been helping them pursue their dreams. The Sthree Sadanam also accepts donations from philanthropists. Speaking to TNIE, women and child welfare officer and in-charge of home K Durga Vani said most of the girls are from poor background. “But they are determined to succeed in their lives. The girls never skip their classes. We take care of their health by providing timely medical care to them,” she added.
Sri Lakshmi, a girl at the home and studying undergraduation, expressed happiness over the facilities being provided at the home. Another girl Pushpa Devi from Nidadavolu, who is studying B Com, said if not for the home, she wouldn’t have been able to continue her studies.
Lizzy from Polavaram and Nagalakshmi, are studying BSc at SKVT College started by Veeresalingam Pantulu. They said that they want to achieve their goals and make their parents proud. However, the Sthree Sadanam is plagued by many problems such as lack of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and dearth of funds. Some of the inmates sought the government to improve amenities in the home. Due to dearth of funds, the Sthree Sadanam is unable to pay power dues to the tune of Rs 1 lakh to the electricity department. Recently, the State government took up repairs of toilets and a few rooms which are in a dilapidated condition.