If you happen to roam around North Campus, there are two things you won’t miss seeing: one, a fast-food corner and two, students. They are everywhere, be it Kamla Nagar, Roop Nagar or Aadarsh Nagar. This is not news since North Campus is all about DU colleges. With these students, comes the question of their accommodation as more than 70% of them are outstation residents. It is here that these ‘fancy’ PGs play their role, and how! The students are provided with a fully air conditioned room, a gym, “all kinds of beauty treatment facilities”, Maggi and cold drinks a phone call away, 24 hours power back up, Wi-Fi, personal bathrooms, any time cab facility and so on! The rates of such PGs range from Rs 14000 to 20000 per month.
“In our times a student’s life was considered to be one filled with hardships, where a good result was the fruit of multiple sacrifices that the student made by leaving the comfort of his home and by surviving the brutalities of the world outside. And look at the scenario now!” comments a DU teacher. The students, away from home, live in much luxury now, and their parents think nothing of the 20 or so grand they lavish on their kid each month. The worst part is that the quality of all these PGs tops the scale during the first few months, but it’s downhill after that. Reportedly, the Wi-Fi stops working, the food quality deteriorates and the AC does not work half of the time. “We don’t have an alternative to leave the PG and move elsewhere since that would result in us forfeiting the security the landlords take in the beginning (which is rent of two months)” says Ridhima, a paying guest.
Most of the PGs are not even registered, meaning that they are not legally permitted to carry on a commercial business. The tactics that they use to exploit the comfort-seeking students is deplorable. Just half a decade back the maximum a hostel or a PG charged was Rs 7000.
However, a respite from these fraud PGs is DU hostel. The newly opened Undergraduate hostel and the Rajiv Gandhi hostel for girls are not only cheap but far better than these PGs. They are clean, spacious and the food is hygienic and delicious. And all this in around Rs 24000 per year! The admission to the hostel is however on merit basis since they provide accommodation only to 800 girls.
Image credits: Sapna Mathur