Working women hostels provide secure and affordable accommodation, supporting women pursuing education and employment away from home. Their demand is increasing, leading to expansion in urban and semi-urban areas. They serve women across various fields, through multiple occupations and professions as a result, the Ministry of Women and Child Development initiated the scheme of Working women hostels.
What are the objectives of the scheme?
The initiative aims to enhance the accessibility of secure and conveniently located housing for employed women, accompanied by daycare facilities for their children, wherever feasible, in urban, semi-urban, or even rural areas with employment opportunities for women. The program supports projects for the construction of new hostel buildings, the expansion of existing ones, and the establishment of hostels on leased premises. Hostel projects supported under this program will be open to all working women without discrimination based on caste, religion, marital status, etc., following the scheme's specified norms.
While the projects funded through this initiative are intended for working women, women undergoing job training may also be accommodated in these hostels, provided that such trainees do not exceed 30% of the total hostel capacity. They may be admitted only if there is an insufficient number of working women. Additionally, children of working women, up to 18 years for girls and up to 5 years for boys, can be accommodated in these hostels alongside their mothers.
How was it implemented in terms of fund flow and rent for the stay?
The Ministry of Women and Child Development will manage the national budget and scheme. Based on project progress, they will transfer funds to the state government's consolidated funds in three instalments (50:40:10). The initial budget allocation to State Governments/UT Administrations will align with their proposals. (Women and Child Development - Annual Report 2020-21)
Rent for single bedrooms is 15% of the total gross salary, double bedrooms are at 10%, and dormitories are at 7.5%. Day Care Centre usage costs are limited to 5% of the mother's gross salary or the actual expense, whichever is lower. Additional amenities like the mess and washing machines have separate user charges.
Who lies in the bracket of eligibility?
This scheme is designed to support employed women, including those who are single, widowed, divorced, separated, or married but living apart from their immediate family.
Priority is given to women from disadvantaged backgrounds, and there are provisions for reserving spaces for physically challenged individuals.
Additionally, women undergoing job training, with a training period not exceeding one year, may be accommodated if vacancies are available after considering working women. The number of women in job training should not exceed 30% of the total capacity.
Children up to 18 years for girls and up to 5 years for boys, accompanying their working mothers, can also stay in the hostel with their mothers. Furthermore, working mothers have access to the Day Care Center services the scheme provides.
Working women can access hostel facilities if their monthly gross income is below Rs. 50,000 in metropolitan areas or Rs. 35,000 in other places. If a resident's income surpasses these limits, she must leave the hostel within six months of crossing the income threshold.
The State Government will assess the need for new projects in the state and convey the information, along with justifications, to the Joint Secretary responsible for the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India, in New Delhi by the end of September each year.
The State Government will solicit applications from eligible organizations, and proposals meeting the criteria will be reviewed by a Project Sanctioning Committee (PSC). This committee, chaired by the Secretary (WCD) of the respective State/Union Territory, will include representatives from the Finance and Public Works Department of the State/UT, as well as any additional representatives determined by the State Government/UT Administration.
Acharya, M. (2021, December 30). Working Women Hostel Scheme. Cleartax. https://cleartax.in/s/working-women-hostel-scheme
Hostels for working women. (n.d.). https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1579518
Scheme for Working Women Hostel by Ministry of Women and Child Development| National Portal of India. (n.d.). https://www.india.gov.in/scheme-working-women-hostel-ministry-women-and-child-development