No shelter for lone lady travellers yet

One-night shelter homes, a longpending demand of lone women travellers in the state, is yet to take off because of the failure of the government agencies to identify the right buildings to house them.

Published: 09th November 2013 12:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2013 12:01 PM   |  A+A-

 One-night shelter homes, a longpending demand of lone women travellers in the state, is yet to take off because of the failure of the government agencies to identify the right buildings to house them. The Social Justice Department and the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation (KSWDC) have confirmed that they have directions and funds to start the project. The only hindrance is the non-availability of suitable buildings in respective districts. “The shelters should be in the vicinity of the railway station or a bus station and not in remote areas,” said V N Jithendran IAS, Director, Social Justice Department. The department had set up a shelter in Thiruvananthapuram as a pilot project, but had to abandon it because there were no takers, he said. Shelters are being planned in Poojappura and Venjaramood in Thiruvananthapuram and Kakkanad in Kochi. “Nowadays, women are working in various fields including the media, IT and ITES. Also there are girls who have to travel to places to write examinations. Every time, they may not get relatives to accompany them. Keeping in mind such issues, we had decided to open one-night shelters apart from the short-stay homes in all districts,” said Advocate P Kulsu, Chairperson, KSWDC. Award-winning novelist K R Meera, who makes frequent trips all over the country, says Indians are yet to accept the fact that women are independent and they have to make trips alone. “Even if the government sets up one-night shelters, it may take more time for the public to accept such a novel idea. Arranging separate rooms in an already established hostel will be a practical solution,” she said. Railway stations provide separate waiting rooms for women, but Sarathma P Sukumar, Coordinator for Bhoomika in Kozhikode said there were attempts to molest women resting in the general waiting rooms during night. “Upper class resting rooms and lodges are options, but how many can afford to stay there,” she asked.

 



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