As one of the finest and most-developed metro cities, Delhi has been encouraging people from small towns and villages to move in and work. I am also one of those who are trying to make their dreams come true.
Moving in comes with the great question of “Where will you stay in Delhi?” This is a crucial issue when you have just started your job and the salary is quite low. In my opinion, the only good option for low-budget women is working women hostels. ‘Hostel’ implies a safe environment, good food, and home-like facilities. I also went for the ‘hostel’ option. A very nice hostel in Saket was my first choice. It even provided me the option of single occupancy. Frankly speaking, it was the best I could have hoped for.
After having a conversation with the warden there, and discussing what my job profile was and the type of rooms they had, she invited me to visit the place. I went all the way to Delhi in the excitement of booking the best and most-suited accommodation for me. But the discussions concerned more about what I expected.
As soon as I entered the place, I was impressed with the infrastructure there. I went inside to talk with her, spoke about myself and explained to her the job I would be joining soon. I told her that I would be joining a media house – and hence, my shifts might change every week. I would be having morning, afternoon or night shifts.
On hearing this, she immediately turned her face away and said: “We close the gate at 10 PM and do not allow people to enter even at 10:01 PM.” I told her that I would inform the hostel authorities about my timings. I even told her that I could bring a letter from my office declaring that I was at the office. She said, “Bring me 10 such letters. Otherwise, I won’t allow you to enter inside; stay elsewhere.” I told her, “My office is very near, It’ll take only 20-25 minutes for me to come here.” Still, she continued to be reluctant and rude, and she said: “I don’t think we can arrange with you anyhow. As for the morning, your cab will be here before 5:30 AM – and we do not open the doors before 5:30 AM.”
What more could I have said? So disappointed I was! With a low salary, I have few options of living in good conditions. I cannot afford a flat – and being a budding journalist, I am bound to have shifts and a very hectic schedule.
Is it correct to say that India’s capital is still not ready for working women to pull-off late-night shifts? Especially when a girl has to stay out because of her job, she is not allowed to enter in her own hostel, even when she is paying a fair amount of money and informing the authorities about her timings? Do people here prefer to let women stay out on the unsafe streets of Delhi, in case she is late for any reason whatsoever – just because hostel gates close at 10 at night?
Featured image used for representative purposes only.