With the Delhi University (DU) admission season in full swing, one thing is in the mind of every outstation student — accommodation. Till just a year or two ago, the preferred place to stay used to either be shared apartments or the much-dreaded college hostels. But things are now changing. With the rental housing industry being accessible by technology, the expectations of both students and parents are on the rise. And so are the cost of such accommodations.
With rooms ranging anywhere between Rs 15,000 – Rs 30,000 per month, PG establishments all over Delhi are able to provide as many facilities as possible — 4 buffet meals, air-conditioned rooms, WiFi, TV and PlayStation, lounge, gaming area, gym, housekeeping etc.
Uday Lakkar, the founder of CoHo — rental accommodations designed for young professionals and students, explained why and how such establishments came into being:
“The issue has always been about finding consistent services, eliminating the layer of brokers and that there are no hassles from the landlords or in terms of any discrimination. Just like the way the taxi industry or the hotel industry had been there since ages but attempts have been made in recent years to streamline. That’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Neither the students nor the parents mind the cost if the establishments are secure and hassle-free. Arshad, a third-year student of St Stephen’s explained,
“It’s better than an apartment because…most importantly it gives me the independence when it comes to maintenance and housekeeping. In an apartment, if there is a maintenance-related issue, they have to go after the owners the issue might take a month or so to resolve. Here, through the app or through the Resident Facility Manager, such issues get resolved within a day or two.”
Amritansh, who is from IIT Kharagpur and is interning in Delhi, added,
“We are a different bunch of students here. Some of us are preparing for UPSC and one is a foreigner from Europe who is here on a student exchange program. So such networking gives a proper advantage of co-living.”
What people in their late teens or early 20s take with them is the experience of newfound independence, making new friends and seeing the world through an unsheltered perspective. Most of them will be living outside their homes for the first time. That seems to increasingly matter more than the infrastructure they’d be living in.