Abandoning of elderly women at She Lodge in Kochi puts civic authorities in a spot

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At the Kochi Corporation's She Lodge, rooms are allotted for a maximum period of seven to nine days for women who come to the city for various purposes.

At the Kochi Corporation’s She Lodge, rooms are allotted for a maximum period of seven to nine days for women who come to the city for various purposes. , Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Abandoning of aged women at She Lodge, the short-stay facility run by the Kochi Corporation, has put the civic authorities in quandary.

In two recent incidents, two women aged above 60 were abandoned at the facility by their children. The elderly women, accompanied by their children, had checked in at the short-stay home. Later, the children went out of the lodge never to return. The health condition of a woman, a diabetic patient, turned bad after she was left with no proper care, food and medicine, said Sheeba Lal, the chairperson of the Welfare Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation.

It was the timely intervention of the staff of the lodge that saved her life. The matron and other staff at the lodge provided her food and water, and medicine and it took some time for her health condition to stabilize. Though the staff intervened to save the women, it would not be possible for them to take care of aged women every time and provide them accommodation, said Ms. Lal.

‘Not a rescue shelter’

In both the incidents, the civic authorities had to seek the intervention of the police to bring back relatives of the women.

The civic body cannot run the lodge as a rescue shelter and protect abandoned women, she said.

The incidents also forced the lodge authorities to be selective in giving accommodation for elderly women.

“We have no other way than to screen the persons who seek accommodation at the facility. We don’t deny elderly women accommodation at the lodge,” she said.

All the 96 rooms of the lodging facility are fully occupied. The civic body charges ₹100 for a person a day for the dormitory, ₹200 for a single room and ₹350 for a double room.

The rooms would be allotted for a maximum period of seven to nine days for women who come to the city for various purposes.

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