The Delhi University Kerala students’ association wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday raising the issue of students of the varsity from other states living in flats and PGs being pressured to pay rent by their landlords.
“We are facing a problem now as many of the Malayali students are receiving calls from house owners demanding rent for past two months. Several calls are of threatening nature. Many students are not in a position to pay rent as the livelihood of their parents have suffered due to the lockdown. This issue is not particular to students from Kerala but from other states too, particularly from the Northeast,” said the letter from Maithri, the Kerala students’ association, requesting intervention from the state government.
One such student is Lakshmi, a first-year student of Zakir Hussain College from a village in Kerala’s Kollam district. In Delhi, she stayed at a flat in Vijay Nagar with another student. She returned to her village on March 7. “My mother is the only earner in the household because my father has been suffering from cancer for the last four years. She runs a grocery store in a rented space and sales have been hit. I pay a monthly rent of Rs 7,000 but I was not in a financial position to do so in March and April, so now I owe my landlady Rs 14,000,” she said.
Other students find themselves stuck in Delhi because they could not reach home before the lockdown. One of them is Sneha, a third-year student at Hindu College, currently living alone in a flat in Vijay Nagar as her three other flatmates have returned home. “I have not been able to pay my share for April… I have friends in PGs who have returned to Kerala, but are being asked to pay the entire monthly amount,” she said.
Amal K Simon, president of the association, said: “I have also approached Kerala House in Delhi for help. Around 50 DU students have told us that they are facing such problems.”
On March 22, Kejriwal had urged landlords to delay the collection of rent during the period of the lockdown.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines