By Amala Dasarathi
You join college after a cut-off that makes Game of Thrones look easy. Hostel? College laughs in your face. Will they help you find off-campus acco? What you think we are real estate agents, they say and reconsider your admission. And that’s how you end up in the PG. Oh ji, ye PG.
Often, this makes students, especially women, vulnerable to poor treatment by PGs, with high rent, arbitrary rules, and moral policing. The Pinjra Tod movement recently helped a group of women fight back against their misogynist, extortionist PG owner, and succeeded. Following this, they have begun to compile a blacklist of PGs – PGs with poor living conditions, harassment of residents, a lack of respect for women’s autonomy, and undue interference into residents’ lives by the owner. This list will serve as a shared pool of information, so that students can make informed choices about where they want to live, and avoid those places that are known to harass women.
Pinjra Tod has also been pressuring university administrations to come up with standardised systems for students to rent private residential accommodation, and recently also met Delhi Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma to discuss this. This, along with their blacklist of PGs to avoid, should help make the lives of those who live in PGs in Delhi easier.
Here is the form for the list if you’d like to fill it in.