The Telegraph
Tuesday , November 27 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Women panel eye on girls’ hostels

Nov. 26: The Assam State Commission for Women has begun the process of monitoring the management of private and government girls’ hostels in order to find a solution to myriad problems faced by the boarders from time to time.

The commission has directed girls’ hostels here to provide it with a list of the names and proof of identity of all current inmates.

Heads of different educational institutions have also been involved to get a better insight into the sort of problems faced by girls and women residing in the hostels. The fact that several hostels do not comply with the rules and regulations has also been taken into account. A private hostel can operate only after it is registered with the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) and it is also required to renew its trade licence from time to time.

The commission’s chairperson, Meera Borooah, said, “The fact that girls and women residing in different private and government hostels keep facing various problems from time to time has come to our notice. On several occasions, despite being brought to the notice of hostel authorities, these issues are never addressed. Therefore, we held a meeting in September to discuss these things with different government agencies like Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority and GMC and also principals and representatives of different colleges. We have asked these colleges to present us with a list of the inmates residing in their hostels at present.”

“Since educational institutions cannot provide hostel facilities to all its students, many girls reside in private hostels. We have also asked the heads of these institutions to provide us with a list of such girls along with the address of the private hostels in which they have put up. This will give us an exact idea of how many hostels are operating here at present and whether all basic facilities are being provided to the inmates. We have come across several cases where three to four inmates have to stay in small rooms with hardly any space to move about. Each girl is provided with only one bed and a small table. Because of poor lighting, they also have difficulty studying. The hostels are also not kept clean,” Borooah added.

Girls residing in hostels and facing any kind of problem can also complain to the commission. Those residing in private hostels can complain about the lack of adequate facilities to the commission through the head of their educational institutions, after which the hostels will be examined and the owners warned to make the necessary arrangements to provide good facilities to the inmates.

“We give utmost importance to the safety of women and girls residing in both private and government hostels. There should be guards to keep an eye on who visits the hostel. We will also check if the hostels have valid licences to operate and whether the owners collect the identity and address proof of an inmate at the time of her admission,” Borooah said.

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