DU student's rental woes: Landlords ask students to pay for luggage occupying PG...

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The troubles for Delhi University students just don’t seem to end. Many of those who had been putting up in PGs and hostels are reportedly being asked to pay rent for the entire period of the lockdown. Pooja Meena, a student of BA(Hons) from Indraprastha College For Women, says, “I don’t have the money to pay the rent. My father recently lost his job; the economy has been hit so bad. So even though my things are kept in the PG in Delhi, I decided to come back home in Nagpur, because my landlady would otherwise visit me everyday asking for rent... How do I pay her when I barely have money to give my fees?”

Some students have had to make other living arrangements, such as moving to their friends’ house, because of not being able to pay rent.

“When the country is undergoing a pandemic, must the landlords not be understanding of the plight of their residents?”— Alka Yadav, a DU student

Take for instance, Alka Yadav, a Political Science (Hons) student of Ramjas College. “I don’t have any money to give to the landlord and he has been giving me ultimatums. He was about to call the police to evict me because of non payment of rent. I left the PG and went to stay at my friends house. But is this fair? When the country is undergoing a pandemic, must the landlords not be understanding of the plight of their residents?” asks Yadav.

To raise this concern, the Delhi University Student Union (DUSU), along with 128 other representatives from various DU colleges have written to the government to request financial assistance for students who are unable to pay their rent. “Many students in DU are facing a financial crunch due to the pandemic. These students have nowhere to go, and the ones who are currently in their PG, continue to get pestered for rents. The ones who left for their home towns are scared of coming back to DU, since they have no place to live because they were either evicted for non payment of rentals or asked to leave so that others who can pay, could be accommodated. In such troubling times, the authorities must come forward to help all such students,” says Munish Chaudhary, president, Law Centre -1, DU.

Akshit Dahiya, president, DUSU adds, “Many students have gone to their home towns, leaving their belongings in their PGs and hostels because they don’t have the money to pay for rent. Now the landlords are pestering these students to pay rent for the luggage that is occupying the room. In such circumstances, we have reached out to the government for monetary help or application of some sort of law that warrants waiver of rentals for students for the months in which lockdown was in place.”

Author tweets @FizzyBuddha

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