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State shelter for working girls

Ranchi, Oct. 7: Minister of social welfare and woman and child development minister Vimla Pradhan today gave a welcome push to economic empowerment and mobility for girls by proposing state-run working women’s hostels and short-stay homes in all its 24 districts, though she did not specify when.

Working women’s hostels will offer safe accommodation for those taking up jobs away from home, while the short-stays will be transit points for girls rescued from traffickers before they go home, said Pradhan, wrapping up the two-day meet held by Action Against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children (ATSEC), Jharkhand.

The capital boasts a state-run working women’s hostel at Nagra Toli, but getting safe and cheap accommodation for female job-holders in districts is difficult.

Pradhan apart, the last day of the meet held at a city hotel was attended by IG (CID) Anurag Gupta, member of Juvenile Justice Board (Jharkhand) Yashodhara Tripathy, DIG (special branch) M.P. Lakra, ATSEC state coordinator Sanjay Kumar Mishra and other dignitaries.

The minister also announced that the state government would set up anti-trafficking units soon across all the districts to keep tabs on traffickers and help police nab them.

“Girls who get rescued from traffickers will be trained in self-employment schemes and helped to earn. Training will be given to elected panchayat representatives on kinds of human trafficking that occur and how they can work jointly with the police to control the menace,” she added.

Last week, Ranchi police had rescued nearly 450 villagers from getting trafficked, half women and nearly 50 minors among them.

The district administration sent them back to their villages. Rescued villagers were disgruntled at neither having jobs outside nor any skill to earn a living at home. They continue to be vulnerable to tall claims parroted by traffickers again.

Rakesh Senger, Jharkhand Bachpan Bachao Andolan member, said it was “realistically impossible to completely stop migration of villagers” for employment opportunities.

“What the state government can ensure is safe migration. Villagers should be registered with the panchayat. Agents offering them jobs should also be registered with the labour department,” Senger said.


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