Islamabad - Ministry of Human Rights is still waiting for release of the Rs100 million allocated for construction of working women hostels in G-6/2 and G-7/3 from finance division.

The land for hostels was allocated some 12 years ago and an amount of Rs10 million had been set aside for constructing the hostels in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2014-15, but the ministry surrendered the money underutilised following which no funds were earmarked in the next fiscal year.

The issue was raised in the first meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on 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. A high official of ministry of human rights said that summary of the project had been forwarded to Central Development Working Party (CDWP) for approval after which further action would be taken.

Accommodation is a big challenge for working women employed in different organisations 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, 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 said that they were paying Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 as rent for a room shared by at least two to three girls besides mess charges.

The government-run hostels are a long-standing demand as private hostels are not only over saturated but are also very expensive and living condition is far from ideal. A large number of working women and students come to the twin cities from far-flung villages in search of jobs and studying in educational institutions but the first problem they face is to find a suitable shelter.

Away from solace of family members, these students and working women 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 is 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 the last five years but have still 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.