Thursday September 21, 2023

Status of working women hostel still in doldrums

June 04, 2018

Islamabad : Ministry of Human Rights (MOHR) lapsed 40 per cent of allocated funds reserved for construction of two working women hostels in G-6/2 and G-7/3 in the new fiscal year 2018-19 as only Rs60 million is being earmarked as compared to Rs100 million in the current fiscal year 2017-18 due to non-utilisation.

The land for hostels was allocated some twelve years ago and an amount of Rs10 million had been reserved for construction of building in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2014-15, but the ministry surrendered the money underutilized following which no funds were earmarked in next fiscal year.

Later, the issue was raised in the first meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee of Human Rights held on March 14, 2015 in which the ministry officials apprised the NA body that no budget was allocated for the scheme in the fiscal year.

In results of frequent media reports on the issue, an amount of Rs100 million were reserved in the current fiscal year but ministry has not succeeded in releasing in single penny from this money till now.

A high official of ministry of human rights told APP that the summary of the project had been forwarded to the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) for approval after which further action would be taken.

Accommodation is a big challenge for the working women employed in different government, semi government and private organizations of the capital as well as students hailing from other cities following a bright future.

A limited number of working women hostels are offering residential facilities at affordable rates including Fatima Jinnah Hostel under ministry of Housing and Works, Working Women Hostel under Ministry of Human Rights and Social Welfare Hostel under Establishment Division.

Besides that a number of private hostel are running in different areas of the city but the residents always complain about their high rates and poor living facilities creating a number of problems for them.

The inmates of private hostels informed this scribe that they are paying for Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 as rent in a rooms shared by at least two to three girls besides mess charges.

The hostels were a long-standing demand as private hostels are not only over saturated but also very expensive and living condition is far from ideal.

A large number of working women and students come from far-flung villages in search of jobs and for studying in better educational institutions but the first problem they faced is to find a suitable shelter for living.

Away from solace of family members these students and workingwomen face multiple problems ranging from accommodation to cultural adjustments.

Amen, who works at a cellular company and hails from Rahim Yar Khan, while sharing her views, said, "It was a gigantic task, especially for girls, to find a comfortable place for living, adding that away from home working women face many physiological, cultural and social problems and lack of hostels aggravate these issues for them.

"Alia, who works with an NGO, said, "I am living in the federal capital for last five years but still did not found a satisfactory and comfortable place to live.

"Women urged the ministry to expedite the project giving them to avail descent, affordable living to focus on their work with concentration.