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Govt bid for safety of working women

- Hostel to take in boarders on first-come-first-serve basis

The first working women’s hostel in the state was inaugurated on Wednesday much to the relief of professionals in need of suitable accommodation in Patna.

Social welfare minister Parveen Amanullah inaugurated the hostel called Akansha at SK Puri. Women Development Corporation, Bihar, which works under the social welfare department, has set up the facility.

The hostel, set under the Mukhya Mantri Narishakti Yojana, has eight rooms and 50 beds with provisions made for married professionals and their children too. It will run under the guidance of a superintendent and would have security guards, a peon, a cook and a helping hand. Women staying at Akansha have to pay Rs 3,500 a month.

Persons interested to stay at the facility would have to fill a form there with their details and relevant documents, including health certificate, income certificate and joining letter.

The boarders would be taken in on first-come-first-serve basis.

Amanullah said: “Our motto is to provide working women in the city a safe accommodation where they can stay without any problem. This is a step towards woman empowerment.”

Four such hostels are being planned in the divisional headquarters of Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur and Gaya.

Akshita, a marketing executive who stays in a private hostel for girls near Nageshwar Colony, said: “Staying with single girls or students is very difficult. Often the study hours clash with our time to sleep, which makes it difficult for everybody. We also have to enter the hostel by 6pm after which we have to pay a fine. But for a working woman like me, it is not always possible to come back by 6 in the evening. Authorities at a working women’s hostel would understand our constraints. At least, a part of my salary would not be wasted in paying fines.”

At Akansha, the gates would be open till 9pm but women with late-night jobs can enter later too.

Taking note of working mothers, the hostel has also decided to provide them with a help. “A woman can stay at the hostel with her infant. A help would be assigned to the mother who would look after the child till the woman is back from work,” said social welfare minister Amanullah.

The Women Development Corporation has also set up a five-member committee, which would visit the hostel every few months to check everything is in order.

Bandana Preyashi, managing director, Women Development Corporation, said: “A person applying for staying at the hostel needs to have a minimum monthly salary of Rs 20,000.”

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