The tedious admission process seems to be much easier when it comes to finding accommodation. Harassment has been a common issue for outstation students of Delhi University each year. Lack of hostel accommodations cause women students to opt for expensive accommodations around the campus. The issue of harassment has been raised a lot of times, year after year; but to no avail.
Pinjra Tod campaigners, who have been running a movement against the biased hostel rules for girl students in Delhi, have prepared a block list of women PGs.
The impetus for this decision had been the nine girl students, who lived in a PG in Hudson Lane near the north campus of Delhi University, protested against their landlord for harassing them on various pretexts like inflated electricity rates, refusing to return the security money, and not providing any receipt at receiving the money.
Consequently, the landlord was forced to refund the security deposit to all the nine students. The students also refused to pay the inflated electricity rates.
Pinjra Tod wanted to make a list of all the unsuitable PG accommodations in and around the campus, and had started an online survey on social media requesting all women students who have lived in PGs to fill out a form describing the basic facilities provided so as to classify these accommodations.
Pinjra Tod has prepared a block list of PGs based on the living conditions, high rent, and undue interference by the owners and lack of respect for women’s autonomy.
Subhashini Shriya, who is associated with Pinjra Tod said, “We will publicise the block list on various platforms so that students know which PG accommodations are to be avoided. We also want the cooperation of university and government”, on being asked about the regulation of PGs.
Pinjra Tod campaigners met Delhi’s Culture Minister Kapil Mishra in order to seek support from the government. Mishra appreciated the efforts of the student community and said that the government is ready to help them.
“He (Kapil Mishra) assured us of all help. He also said the government would explore the possibility of setting up an online portal where registrations and ratings of PGs could take place”, Shriya said.
The campaign has received a lot of responses online and they wish to take it offline now to widen their reach.
Pinjra Tod was started in 2015 at Jamia Millia Islamia University, against the discriminatory hostel rules for girl students. It grew out of a Facebook page where women students shared their experiences.