PG Accommodations


Owing to the nationwide lockdown which has brought a halt to many activities, students are being asked to pay for the rented accommodations even though their rooms remain unoccupied.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an order according to which landlords cannot demand rent from students, workers and migrant labourers for a month. The order by MHA states, “Wherever the workers, including the migrants, are living in rented accommodation, the landlords of those properties shall not demand payment of rent for the period of one month.” The order further adds, “If any landlord is forcing labourers and students to vacate their premises, they will be liable for action under the Act.”

With the outbreak of Coronavirus, some students fled to their hometown and some remained stuck in their PGs or other rented occupancies. With stringent restrictions of going out or accessing banks among other things, students find it extremely difficult to arrange for rent in these times. Those who have left their PGs to go home are also asked to pay rent, and fearing evacuation in such uncertain times students are facing troubles in paying rents especially when the means to pay have become scarce.

Deya Kangnoo, a first-year B.A programme student at Kamala Nehru College who is currently in Jammu expressed her concerns to DU Beat and said, “My dad’s occupation is business and due to this lockdown people are unable to travel from one place to another, so it’s arduous for all of the business personnel to generate income.” She further added, “It’s really insensitive to ask for rent in such times when families are struggling to maintain livelihoods. I don’t even have a rental agreement which I am sure not every PG student has, so these guidelines by Ministries have no binding on us.”

Mannat, a first-year student of BA (Hons) Journalism expressed the plight of PG owners to DU Beat and said, “Landlords’ income also gets affected with this lockdown since many depend on it as their livelihood including my father, who I see every day getting stressed about his business. It’s only when he initiates dialogues with the student tenants, they agree to pay- so we have money to sustain ourselves for food and needs.” She further added, “the cooks and other workers at PG also deserve to be paid in a respectable manner so it’s only fair that students attempt to negotiate with their landlords.”

Vinitha another student at Kamla Nehru College who is in Mysore told DU Beat, “We have negotiated a deal with the owner and those who are staying in the PG pay the full amount and those who don’t- pay half the sum including myself.”

Students who are from well to do families afford to pay half or full amount of rent to their landlords, whereas others from small towns or villages with minimal access to online banking or even a bank itself face vulnerability and threat of evacuation. Despite the Ministry guidelines, students are asked to pay rent even for the unoccupied rooms, and once again the rich-poor and digital divide comes into the centre stage to give momentum to inequalities and vulnerabilities.


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat archives

Umaima Khanam

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The Delhi Police has registered a case against a fake video circulated to create panic amongst students in Mukherjee Nagar. 

The Delhi Police recently registered a complaint against a fake video that circulated and went viral online with hopes of creating panic amongst students in Mukherjee Nagar.

The video shows a police officer telling people to vacate Mukherjee Nagar between 24th December to 2nd January. In the video, the officer is seen warning people, saying that they have warned students, P.G. owners, local vendors, and owners of restaurants, libraries and coaching centres to “book their tickets and vacate Mukherjee Nagar from 24th December to 2nd January.” The officer warned people against gathering in the area,  because under Section 144- which prohibits a gathering of more than four people- they can be booked and detained, and that they should refrain from protesting and not “ruin their careers.”


Image Credits: Twitter

An image of the order from the SHO Mukherjee Nagar police station had also circulated amongst students. The police claimed it to be fake, and are trying to identify the origin of the video and the fake notice that was spread to create panic amongst netizens following the CAB protests and the use of police force for quelling it


Image Credits: Times of India

“We’re all already tense about the situation in Delhi. Many of our friends have already been detained for doing nothing, and with these fake videos and images circulating, news like this is really scary for us outstation students, and our parents are constantly worrying. I know many of my friends were stressed out about the video because they were not going back home for the holidays and were planning to stay in their P.Gs or flats for the winter break,” Rohin Dalal, a second-year student, told DU Beat.

Vijayanta Arya, DCP (North-West) said that no such direction has been given by the police. “Fake messages are circulating on social media on the closure of PGs/hostels in Mukherjee Nagar area. We have registered a case against these fake messages. Appeal to all citizens to not believe these rumours,” the DCP conveyed via a tweet on 25th December.

Feature Image Credits: The Hindu

Shreya Juyal

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Outstation students are said to be the ones who enjoy freedom at its best—people who don’t have to travel too much to reach their accommodation and those who have all their time to themselves. However, there is struggle involved in living a life away from home. It isn’t easy to be your own friend, your own family, your own helper and your sole support.

There are innumerable challenges that come along with being an outstation student. Trivial or serious, here they are:

1. Food

Image credits: Indian Express
Image credits: Indian Express

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a hostel resident with lots of wishes and no money is hungry.

If you live in a PG hostel, a government hostel, or in your own flat you know the struggle. Food in hostels range from extremely soupy to extremely burnt. There are times when you look at a dish, and wonder, “Wait, are these potatoes?” Even if you are put up in a fancy accommodation, you will still complain about food. There are times when you awaken your inner chef to cook food for yourself and use all your time to create a master piece. You promise yourself to continue cooking on your own only to break the promise later. Instagram, Facebook, Game of Thrones and sometimes assignments come in the way of being a master chef. And then there are times when you break down and complain about how you miss chicken.

2. School/Old Friends

Image credits: clipartpanda.com
Image credits: clipartpanda.com

College is usually welcoming to most of us. This is particularly true in Delhi University, where people from all walks of life and places come together. However, there are moments where you end up missing your school friends. Not many outstation students are lucky enough to be able to spare a day and meet their friends. Friends are far away in most cases. You might not be able to reach them. They are not a few blocks away. However, you have WhatsApp and WhatsApp emojis to convey your feelings to those who understand.

3. Family

Image credits: lgrc.us
Image credits: lgrc.us

Yes, outstation people are cool and so they have a lot of friends. However, the huge circle is also because they have too much of their emotional space to fill and offer. Living away from family leaves a big void in you. You crave company. Time is miserably long without family. Yes, outstation students have a lot of time to enjoy. But there is always a lack of people even if they have hundreds around.

4. Exams

Image credits: contextualfeed.com
Image credits: contextualfeed.com

Outstation kids don’t have to travel from Gurgaon or Noida during the exams. They also get extra time to study on the morning of an exam. But they have to manage everything on their own. Food seems worse when you have exam fever. So you have a choice of either remaining hungry or ordering something for yourself, or even cooking on your own. There are times during summers when you get up for a glass of water and realise that there is no water. It is at times like these that you wish you had the comfort of your home.

5. Money

Image credits: cashthechecks.com
Image credits: cashthechecks.com

You can be rich back home but when you are not home, you are not rich. You will always thank god for the money you have at the beginning of the month. It seems enough till the last days of the month strike. Remember those days in school when a coin would fall off your pocket and you wouldn’t want to pick it up as you thought that would be embarrassing? Well, that isn’t happening here. At the end of the month, coins are gold. They can buy you a packet of bread, some samosas and hopefully a plate of momos too.

All in all, life isn’t easy for an outstation student. There is every reason they should be proud of themselves. Yes, there are moments when they slack off or break down, and times when they feel that they are too tired to pursue their dreams. If you are one, give yourself that necessary appreciation. You are doing good because you are doing it all on your own!

Image credits: theodysseyonline.com

Tooba Towfiq

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Since acceptance rates in most college hostels run very low, the next best option for most students is a private paying guest accommodation. The sheer number and variety of PGs may be daunting, but it all boils down to shrewd PG-hunting. Here are a few tips to guide you through the process:

  • For starters, approaching brokers is unnecessary.
  • Begin by collecting phone numbers and addresses of PGs. Many put up posters and distribute business cards.
  • Contact friends and relatives who may have studied or are studying in DU to ask for their opinions.
  • Take a day or two and visit as many PGs as possible. Don’t finalise your choice instantly. Evaluate the pros and cons of each establishment with your parents and then make a decision.
  • While evaluating PGs, check the toilets, kitchens and balconies properly. For those who are unfamiliar with the area, check the proximity of the PG to your college on Google Maps.
  • Strike up conversations with PG residents for honest opinions. Be sure to ask them about the security of the place.
  • Ask the PG owners about your potential roommates who may have already booked their seat. If you find yourself too dissimilar to them, you may want to rethink your choice.
  • Never take PG owners’ promises at face value, as they’re shrewd businessmen.
  • Sometimes, PG owners lower tariffs as the admission season ends. You may strike a good deal at the last moment.

It is pivotal that you find a decent PG, as you’ll be spending a considerable amount of time here. Having said that, pangs of homesickness may sometimes be unavoidable.


Image Credits: www.indiatoday.in

Swareena Gurung

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Pinjra Tod, which is a movement to secure non-discriminatory and affordable accommodation for women students, recently reported a case of fraud and harassment by a PG owner in Hudson Lines, North Campus, and the subsequent measures taken by the students of the PG.

The students of this women’s PG had been regularly facing harassment on several accounts, according to Pinjra Tod’s report. Rent agreements and receipts for rent paid were denied to them. The agreement initially had been for 11 months, after which the landlord was to reimburse the security deposit. Later, when the students were due to return home after their semester examinations, he began to insist that they stay for 12-13 months to receive reimbursement, else they would lose their deposit. Further, the students were forced to pay inflated electricity bills. Suspecting fraud, the students had turned off all electrical equipment to find that inspite of no use of electricity, the meters continued to run. The landlord and his family would also enter rooms and taunt or abuse the women.

Due to continued threat, abuse and harassment, 9 students of the PG filed a complaint with the police, after which the landlord called their parents up, accusing the women of ‘smoking’ and ‘drinking.’

A confrontation at the Mukherjee Nagar Police Station resulted in a victory for the women. The landlord had to return the security deposit to all 9 students, and the students have registered a complaint with the NDPL, refusing to pay the inflated electricity bills.

“This kind of harassment is very rampant throughout Delhi,” says Subhashini Shriya of Pinjra Tod. “Due to dependency of the students on the PG owner and vulnerability of the students, combined with misinformation by the PG owner to parents, students find it difficult to come out with such cases.” On the reaction of the authorities to Pinjra Tod’s demand for regularisation of PGs, Subhashini says, “DU administration says that since these are private accommodations, it is beyond the scope of their authority. There are several PGs that are not registered with the police and most PGs give no receipt on receiving rent. Neither the university nor the police has taken this up.”

Pinjra Tod has decided to prepare a blacklist of PGs based on information given in by students on cases of sexual harassment, interference of the landlord, receipt for rent paid and rent agreements. “When students seek accommodation in PGs, they must have a better understanding of the comfort and security of these places. The blacklist will serve this purpose,” says Subhashini.

Pinjra Tod is also working towards ensuring that the University implements a standardisation of rules and rents in this regard. “We would like to set in place a system where students should be able to approach the university for redressal of such grievances,” says Subhashini.


Image credits: Pinjra Tod


Abhinaya Harigovind

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