A Room of My Own : Students’ campaign for their Right to Accommodation


                                                                                                                                                        Chanya Jaitly 


About 5000 students take admission in Delhi University. one of the top 100 universities in the world, every year.

They take admission to get good education, to achieve their goals, explore themselves but these things seem like a distant dream to outstation students.

50% of 5000 students are outstation students. These students should be provided with hostel facilities by the colleges but they hardly get it. There are only 4000 accommodations at DU for over 80,000 hostel aspirants. These students, who don’t get hostel facilities, have to rent a room or live as paying guests. But, rent is not the only thing they have to worry about. Food bills, water bills, electricity bills, etc make it worse for the students. In addition, students face harassment by the landlords. Sometimes, female students face sexual harassment, too. With all these things going on, these students have to take care about their education too, for which they have come to Delhi.

Some people find profit here too. Looking at this growing need of PGs and rooms, people have come up with a new business plan. Hudson Lane, Satya Niketan, Mukherjee Nagar, Vijay Nagar, are some of the areas which are close to North and South Campus. Students tend to rent a room in these areas. But, the landlords take full advantage of this. Either, they ask for high rents, provide poor facilities against low rents or some take high rents and provide poor facilities.

To take admission in Delhi University is tough but for outstation students, to continue their education is tougher. Also, there are students who come from under privileged families. These students have to do part time jobs to pay their rent and bills. Otherwise, they won’t be able to sustain. This makes Delhi University only for the elite class and makes it obvious, that it has nearly closed its doors for the under privileged students.

One student is studying at law faculty in the evening shift. He or she might have preferred to study in the morning batch. But poor economic background have forced the student to take up a job in the morning, earn a petty amount and then attend classes in the evening.

To fight against this injustice, AISA organised a march as part of their “A Room of My Own” campaign . They had put forward their three demands.  First, to build hostels to ensure seats for all students who need it. Second, to provide House Rent Allowance (HRA) to every student forced to rent accommodations. Third, to apply Rent Control Regulation Act, on all private accommodations for students in Delhi.

500+ students marched across the North Campus. A student delegation fixed an appointment with the DU VC but the VC didn’t come. However, the students, then, led their march to the Dean. The Dean suggested the students to go to their respective colleges and also mentioned, that they have filed many petitions for a rise in the funds to the UGC but still have not got any reply.

The students have now decided to decentralize their movement. Protests were organised in Deshbandhu College and Aurobindo College. According to an RTI last year, the administration of Deshbandhu College received 34,61,92,000 for maintaining the infrastructure. Many suspect that a hostel fund was also received and still there are no hostels.

The campaign is still going on. More and more students are coming forward to voice their opinion against the Delhi University administration.


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