Early deadlines for entry a downer for ‘she-lodges’

The stricture could defeat the initiative’s purpose to help women visiting the city

Early deadlines for entry in the proposed bylaws for the city Corporation’s she-lodges and women’s hostels have raised questions on whether it defeats the purpose of these initiatives.

This is especially so in the case of she-lodges, which is meant for women who travel to the city for a short span of time for professional or personal purposes, and have not found a space to stay.

As per the draft version of the bylaw, the deadline for entry to the she-lodge is 9 p.m., whereas for the women’s hostel, it is 8.30 p.m. When the agenda regarding this was presented in the city Corporation council on Monday, some opposition councillors had raised the issue regarding early cut-off time, which could make it inaccessible to those who need it most.

The argument against an early cut-off time is there in the purpose of such short stay homes – to give a safe and secure place to stay for women who travel to the city. By not allowing in women after a specific time, they will be forced to look for other places late in the day.

The local body has come up with such a cut-off time more than a year after campuses across the country, including in the city, witnessed ‘Break the curfew’ protests by female students. The protesting students have flagged the issues caused due to the early cut-off times, from preventing access to resources in their college library to affecting their participation in co-curricular or leisure activities.

According to S.S. Sindhu, chairperson of the city Corporation’s welfare standing committee, the bylaws are not yet finalised, and changes can be made as per demands from opposition or the users of these facilities.

“As of now, we have fixed the timing considering the location of the only she lodge, which is in Sreekanteswaram. It is not an area to which you would get transport after a point of time. If this facility was located in Thampanoor or other crowded areas of the city, we could have had a lax cut-off time. When the monitoring committee meeting is held, such suggestions will be considered and changes can be made, if possible. In the case of the women’s hostel, working women are given some relaxation in the timings,” she said.

The Corporation currently runs one she-lodge and a hostel, both located in separate buildings at Sreekanteswaram. There are proposals to set up two more at Kazhakuttam and Medical College, but paucity of land is an issue.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 6:45:02 PM |

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