Married women a distraction in residential colleges: Telangana government
By FnF Desk | PUBLISHED: 02, Mar 2017, 12:50 pm IST | UPDATED: 02, Mar 2017, 12:50 pm IST
The Telangana government has said that 'only' unmarried women are eligible to pursue education in the social welfare residential women's degree colleges in the state.
Strangely, the rule has been in place for a year, and 4,000 such women are studying in these hostels and will move to the second year in the coming academic year.
There are 23 residential degree colleges for women with each having an intake capacity of 280 students per year wherein right from education to food, everything is given free of cost to the students. Seventy-five per cent of the seats are reserved for SCs and the remaining 25% are for STs/BCs and general category.
A notification by the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) inviting applications for admissions into the residential degree colleges specifically says, "The TSWREIS invites applications from women (unmarried) candidates for admission into BA/B.Com/B.Sc 1st year degree courses for the academic year 2017-18."
Making it clear that it was no oversight, officials explained why they are restricting admission to unmarried women. "The intention to ensure that other girls in the residential degree colleges do not get distracted because there is every possibility of husbands visiting their wives weekly once or in a fortnight. We do not want any kind of distraction among students," TSWREIS content manager B Venkat Raju told TOI.
Society secretary, Dr R S Praveen Kumar, told TOI that the very purpose of establishing the residential degree colleges for women in government sector was to break the cycle of child marriages. "We don't encourage married women but at the same time won't prevent them if they approach us for admission. Our intention is neither to deny nor hurt any one's feelings," he added. As expected, activists are crying foul and want the regressive notification withdrawn.
Taking a strong exception to the society's point of view, women activists said it is not only a deplorable move but the institution of marriage itself is being put to disgrace. "How can an institution of the state government itself block the education of married women when child marriages are so rampant in both urban and rural areas of Telangana?" asked V Sandhya of progressive Organisation of Women