While more and more women are coming to Delhi every year
in search of employment, there are only 11 government-recognised working women hostels in the national capital.
"Women who venture out of their native places to fulfil their ambitions require a safe and convenient accommodation, but due to non-availability of such hostels they end up living in dingy rooms in narrow lanes of urban villages like Munirka, Zia Sarai, Vinod Nagar and Mukherjee Nagar," said Juri Boruha, who stays in a rented room at Ber Sarai in South Delhi.
Juri, a native of Guwahati and HR manager with an MNC,
said, "These private rooms are not only expensive, but also
very unsafe because we have to share our floor with strangers
living in adjacent rooms."
Echoing the view, Ridalin Khonglang of Meghalaya, who
stays in Mukherjee Nagar in North Delhi, said, "Since I heard
about the murder of Naga girl Ramchanphy Hongray by her
neighbour staying on the first floor of the same building, I
applied in many recognised hostels, but could not get a
State Women and Child Development Minister Kiran Walia
also admitted that there was a shortage of working women
hostels in Delhi. "It's true that there is a need to build
more working women hostels in Delhi," she said.
"We have identified a plot in the Civil Lines area for
this purpose, but it is not practical to build so many hostels
in the city and our priority is improving law and order
situation so that women can live anywhere without feeling
insecure," Walia said.
The government-recognised working women hostels, most of
them are being run by voluntary organisations, have a total
capacity of less than 2000, the Women and Child Development
According to its website, as all the hostels have a very
long waiting list, 13 new hostels will be constructed on
In this scenario, a large number of single working women
opt for private accommodations facing many difficulties.
Sapna Sharma, who came to Delhi from Bihar in 2005, feels
that rented accommodation in good locality of the city is very
"I have tried to find a room or PG facility in a good
locality like Lajpat Nagar, Greater Kailash, Outram Lane and
Mayur Vihar but they are very costly. Even a single room in
these areas cost between Rs 7,000 and Rs 9,000 per month,"
said Sapna, a sub-editor with a leading newspaper.
YWCA general secretary Anuvinda Varkey also accepted that
there is a need to build more hostels for working women.
"We have two working women hostels with a capacity of
around 260 beds, but there is a long waiting list," she said,
adding that for every bed we receive four applications every
The condition is similar at the three NDMC-run hostels
-- Swati (Mandir Marg), Indira Niketan (Laxmi Bai Nagar) and
Aakanksha (Bhagwan Das lane) -- which have a total capacity of
An NDMC official, on condition of anonymity, said they
receive nearly 50 applications every month seeking seat in one
of the hostels of the civic body.
Many complain that lack of such hostels make them a toy
in the hands of greedy and interfering landlords.
"Security concerns are not the only issue, but the whole
lot of money-hungry and interfering landlords make the rented
rooms very inconvenient," rued Neha Sahni, sales executive
with a multinational bank, who stays in Vinod Nagar area of
New Delhi: The recent murder of a teenaged Naga girl at Munirka in South Delhi has once again raised concern over the safety of migrant women due to inadequacy of recognised and affordable hostels in the city.
First Published: Sunday, November 01, 2009, 11:09