Women`s hostels in Arunachal Pradesh in a mess
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Last Updated: Monday, January 16, 2012, 10:10
Itanagar: The Union government's scheme to provide hostel accommodation to single, divorced and unmarried working women in the country lay in a shambles in Arunachal Pradesh where 10 such hostels exist.

The women's hostels were built under the ambitious scheme launched by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development way back in 1972 to provide accommodation to working women at a minimal charge.

A visit to several of these hostels suggests that all of them, with the exception of a few, have become almost unliveable for lack of proper maintenance.

The hostels are located at Tawang, Bomdila, Itanagar, Naharlagun, Roing, Ziro and Changlang which are managed by Non-Governmental Organisations, Voluntary Organizations and a few by the state Social Welfare Women and Child Development Department (SWWCD).

The two hostels at Itanagar and Naharlagan are, however, managed by the Arunachal Pradesh Social Welfare Advisory Board (APSWAB).

A visit to a working women's hostel in the capital, established in 1980, tells a sad tale.

The hostel with 10 rooms though boasts of several toilets and bathrooms to cater to a more than 20 women inmates, their dilapidated condition render these almost unusable.

What comes as a shock is that the inmates have to cope with almost defunct water and power supply.

A boarder, said there were times when water supply remained suspended for months together.

During such times, we have to beg water, and that too a bucket at most, from the hotels nearby and make do with it somehow,'' she lamented.

To add to the woes, doors and windows of the hostels are all broken and to make up for this, the inmates shield them with cardboards, cartons and whatever such like staff they get hold of.

The irony is that every inmate pays rent regularly. A double room costs about Rs 300, single room Rs 200 and another Rs 100 towards water and electricity bills per month.

As if this was not enough, many boarders complained officially that males also, at times, stay in the hostel for months claiming to be relatives or family members of women inmates.

The hostel warden, who is a working woman herself residing in the hostel, acknowledged the boarders' account and pleaded helplessness.

APSWAB member-secretary M Ali, when contacted, blamed the alleged entry of males in the hostel on the delay in approving a proposal for construction of a boundary wall.


First Published: Monday, January 16, 2012, 10:10

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