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Model hostel

Vairamuthu is more than a successful lyricist. His long-cherished dream of service to society has taken shape in the form of the plush Thaai Women's Hostel in Kodambakkam, which is to be inaugurated shortly .


LYRICIST VAIRAMUTHU has many dreams. Soon, one of them will fructify. The poet, who has achieved immense success in the world of words, nurtured a desire to build a hostel for women. That dream has finally taken shape... as the Thaai Women's Hostel.

In a quiet by-lane amidst greenery, the hostel is centrally located in Kodambakkam. It's about 15 minutes away from the new Koyambedu bus terminus, about ten minutes away from the Kodambakkam station and five minutes from the bus stop.

Sitting in his simple yet elegant office, the lyricist sounds like an excited schoolboy about to go on his first excursion, when he talks about his dream project. In chaste Tamil, he says, "The idea has been latent for over three years now. My wife, Ponmani, who was till recently a Professor of Tamil at the Meenakshi College, has, in a way, been instrumental in the conception of the hostel. Many of her students and their parents, who came from other cities, felt that a city of the size of Chennai somehow lacked safe and clean hostels for women. Thus was born the Thaai Hostel, which has the facilities of a three-star hotel. Before embarking on the project, we tried to understand the problems women faced in hostels. And accordingly, planned our project to ensure we did not repeat those mistakes. The hostel has taken nine months to complete and will be inaugurated soon."

He continues, "Our aim is to provide healthy food and protection to women, and most important, create an ambience that feels like home."


The three-storeyed building has 42 spacious and airy rooms (besides single and double rooms, there are also rooms with three and four beds), and can accommodate about 104 women. As the lyricist himself takes us on a trip of the hostel, his involvement with every phase of the project is evident.

The plush lobby will have a computer with Internet facilities, plug points to charge cell phones ("very important these days"), and a television set and telephone. As for the rooms, besides the beds, there are individual cupboards and ethnic modas.

A warden, cooks, security guards and maintenance boys make up the staff. There's a large kitchen and dining room at the ground level.

Good news is that the inmates need not bother with the drudgery of washing clothes. Dhobis are to be appointed to wash and deliver the clothes at your door... for a nominal price. Medical help is also just a call away and water flows from the taps 24-hours!

Those travelling can have tickets delivered at their door. All they need to do is inform the warden about the date and destination. As for the menu, it will change every week, and Vairamuthu hopes to include pizzas in the list!

There are some rules too. Only parents and guardians introduced by the parents will be allowed to meet the girls. As for timings, if the women have late working hours, the company has to confirm it. Inmates need to stay in the hostel for a minimum period of three months.

The prices? They range between Rs, 3,000 and Rs. 5,000 a month, including food, electricity and water.

A kalyana mandapam and a women's hostel. What next, lyricist sir? "I want to open a college where students do not have to take examinations." Hope that happens!

Those interested may contact Thaai Women's Hostel, 8, 2nd cross, Cross Street, Ganga Nagar, near Kodambakkam Telephone Exchange, ph: 23727373.

SAVITHA GAUTAM

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