Kerala's new initiative She Lodge, a hostel facility exclusively for women travellers, saw its first launch in Thrissur.
For women travellers, the first priority is to look for a safe place to stay. Whether staying overnight or for a few days, one needs that sense of security to be able to travel alone, regardless of whatever part of the country it may be.
Kerala, also known as God's Own Country, is a popular tourist destination and attracts tourists from all over the world, 365 days around. The state also sees a huge influx of domestic tourists. While world-class facilities are available for all kinds of tourists, it was imperative that Kerala took care of women travellers as well.
To cater to women tourists travelling solo or in groups, the state government inaugurated its first "She Lodge" by Minister AC Moideen. The lodge is located 6km outside Thrissur town in central Kerala. It is an initiative of the Ayyanthol Panchalikkal Corporation.
According to the Malayala Manorama, the lodge is three storeys tall, has dormitories, independent bedrooms, a dining hall, and reading rooms. The total cost of building the lodge was Rs 1.35 crore.
Earlier in April, the Kerala government had announced "She Lodges" or women's only hostels to be set up all over the state. They will be maintained and managed by Kudumbashree, a network of 2.77 lakh women's self-help groups in Kerala.
The Malayala Manorama had then reported that the facilities will be exclusive to only women, but boys below the age of 12 will be allowed to stay with their mothers. Also, She Taxis, driven by women will be available for pick and drop.
Following the one at Thrissur, an Indian Express report, says that a second lodge will be inaugurated in Kanhangad, a town in North Kerala. Three more in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Ernakulam are also on the anvil.
With more She Lodges coming up in the state and She Taxis to take care of all their travel requirements, women can enjoy the natural beauty Kerala has to offer without worrying over a safe place to stay. We only hope that more states follow suit, and this gives a fillip to more women travellers in the country.