Inmates call on CM to solve problems of working women’s shelters

PESHAWAR: Inmates of the Welfare Department Working Women’s Shelter have asked Chief Minister Mahmud Khan to take note of the problems they are facing and help them ensure electricity supply resumes before the advent of Ramadan.

A group of female workers living at the facility told The News they were facing serious problems, but the relevant department was ignoring them despite their complaints.

They said they were from remote areas and had no other reasonable accommodation. The most serious problem they are currently facing is the suspension of power supply due to unpaid bills.

The women said they paid their utility bills on time, but the relevant department did not pay the bill due to the suspension of their electricity supply. The problem with the hostel’s electricity supply has been going on for two years, they said.

The women said that, fed up with the indifferent attitude of the Department of Social Welfare, they moved the court to seek justice. The court ruled in their favour, stating that the arrears would be covered by the inmates’ rent at the hostel and that current and future bills would be paid by the Department of Social Welfare.

In view of the court verdicts, the detainees settled the arrears amounting to Rs 1.8 million. But the department failed to follow the court orders and the current bill has once again ballooned to one million rupees.

The workers said the department should be forced to settle the arrears because they were regularly paying their rent. “If the department insists that the inmates resolve the arrears, they will pay 50%. But for that, the department should engage in writing with them so that they do not encounter any problems in the future,” said one of the hostel residents.

It should be mentioned here that the Women Workers Hostel is a facility belonging to the Welfare Department of the KP Government.

Currently, some 89 women working in different departments live in the hostel. The state of the hostel is deplorable. But the inmates have no other choice.

The suspension of electricity has multiplied their problems for which they have made countless appeals and requests to all who matter, but to no avail.

They also told their ordeal to female Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly member Ayesha Bano during her visit to the hostel and she assured them that they would solve their problem but nothing was done to that end.

The inmates said another summer had set in and the holy month of Ramazan was about to begin. “We are in big trouble. How would we spend Ramazan in this pathetic situation? We call on the Chief Minister to have mercy on us and settle the matter before the start of the holy month of Ramazan,” she added.

Linda G. Ibarra