Kochi’s ‘She Lodge’: Hit or a miss?

The ‘She Lodge’ is a safe haven for women who travel to the city in Kerala

She-Lodge She Lodge in Ernakulam | E.V. Sreekumar

Kochi, which is literally the heart of Kerala, is home to a dynamic population, especially youth in search of jobs and other creative opportunities. So, when the need for a safe place for lone women travellers arose, the idea of a 'She Lodge' was proposed by Cochin Corporation Mayor M. Anilkumar and Welfare Standing Committee Chairperson Sheeba Lal.

The idea is a reality today, and is one of the prime projects of the Cochin Corporation. Located near the Ernakulam Town Railway Station, the She Lodge provides safe and clean accommodation, and food to women travellers travelling to and through the city.

When the idea of a safe shelter for women was proposed, everyone agreed that it should be readily accessible. The inoperative Libra Hotel premises was chosen as the location. Though the renovation of the hotel started in 2017, the project gained momentum after the new council came to power in 2020. Sheeba Lal was given the responsibility to oversee the project.

“Initially, people said it would shut down in a few days. But, nine months later, here we are as a ray of hope for women travelling to Kochi,” Sheeba Lal said. “Even if rooms are not available, we accommodate women who feel unsafe at night and provide them with basic needs.”

Grand opening

Kerala Local Self Government Minister M.B. Rajesh inaugurated the She Lodge in 2022. It was opened to the public on March 8 - Women’s Day – this year. The staff were recruited from among Kudumbashree members, post interviews. All three matrons of the institution are graduates. The She Lodge provides employment to at least 20 women.

“While recruiting from among Kudumbashree volunteers, we appointed the ones who were passionate about this institution. We needed people who would care for this place as their own house,” said Sheeba Lal.


The She Lodge has 48 single rooms, 32 double rooms (two-sharing) and a dormitory with 30 beds, all with attached bathrooms. The dormitory is in high demand, as it costs only Rs 100 a day. Single bedrooms cost Rs 200 and the double rooms for Rs 350. The inmates can avail food of their choice from Samridhi@Kochi hotel at subsidised rates. A library and a reading space are provided for its inmates. The institution is eco-friendly and the entire building works on solar energy.


Warm response

People, especially women, have welcomed the She Lodge. Amala, a Suchitwa Mission worker and a frequent inmate of She Lodge, said it “feels like home”.

“In the past, finding a secure place to stay in Kochi was challenging,” she said. “When I first heard about the She Lodge, I rushed to explore it. But, it was not open to the public then.

"She Lodge offers a peaceful environment for women like me who travel frequently,” Amala said.

Challenges galore

She Lodge had to face several challenges initially. Prime among them was the deserting of elderly women by relatives. The staff had to ensure their well-being. The increasing frequency of such instances forced the corporation not to admit women above 60 years of age.

Also, some inmates refused to vacate their rooms even after the proposed days of stay. So, the corporation had to cap the number of days at seven.

Some occupants would take away the pillow covers, bed sheets and blankets that were provided to them, while vacating.

Also, the She Lodge used to get several packages in the name of the inmates, following which the management asked the inmates to refrain from using the institution’s address.

At least 2,700 women have availed this facility since March 2023. Perhaps, the best indicator of the success of the She Lodge is the profit of Rs 24 lakh in less than a year.


She Lodge is operational from 6am to 10pm. But the doors are never closed for women in need.


Paramara Road, near Ernakulam Town Railway Station,

Kacheripady, Ernakulam


+91 95671 44489


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