Student remembers hard life in PG

He worked part-time to save money so that he could move into a rented apartment
Last Updated 30 August 2015, 05:37 IST

Every year thousands of students from all over the country flock to Delhi and its suburbs, hoping to study here and build a better future for themselves.

Aaditya, 22, was among the thousands who board a train from their hometown for Delhi after taking their class 12 exams. Hailing from Patna, he always knew he will head after completing his school education.

In June 2012, he arrived in Delhi. After a month of applying in several colleges he finally got admission in Computer Science at Noida International University in Greater Noida.  But he got a jolt when he got to know that his college didn’t have hostel facility.

“I was looking forward to stay in the college hostel when I got to know that the college doesn’t have any hostel. I felt disheartened,’’ he says.

Thus began his search for accommodation. Finally he found paying guest (PG) accommodation near his college. The building looked good with 25 students sharing eight rooms.

“Initially, everything looked fine. With a room shared by three boys, and with food and laundry facility being taken care of, I was relieved. But gradually I started to face reality,” says Aaditya.

Long queues for bathroom, frequent electricity cuts, distance from the main market and exorbitant extra charges for the facilities provided were some of the problems he faced.

Being away from the college campus, the college authorities had no influence over the students at the PG facility. The landlord also used to stay in another building and this emboldened a few of the senior students staying there and they started throwing their weight around at juniors college mates.

“My roommates were fine, but at our PG some senior students were also staying who started picking on me. I was of a studious nature and wanted to concentrate only on my studies, but my seniors expected me to hang around with them and join in their late night revelries,’’ Aaditya says.

“When I ignored their requests, they started to isolate me, telling my roommates to avoid me. Being the only one from my state, they would target my accent and started calling me names. When I would try to study late night, loud music would start blaring,” he adds.

Aaditya had never lived alone before, and he found the going tough. After a few months, Aaditya started missing his hometown.  He felt if he was living in a college hostel things would be much better – at least he could inform the authorities. But here, he couldn’t speak to anyone.

After a few months, he decided to move into a rented apartment but for that he had to shell out two months’ advance rent.

To earn some extra cash, he took up a job as a computer education teacher. After seven hours at college, he would give tuitions at an institute. Although it started affecting his health and studies, moving out was more important. After a few months he had collected enough money to afford a new rented apartment.

“I was happy leaving the place. I had earned enough to afford an apartment, but in the process also compromised on my studies. If I had got a decent environment I wouldn’t have had to do a part-time job,” says Aaditya.

Delhi no doubt boasts of an array of educational institutes that are among the best in the country.  But as Aaditya’s case show, there is a often a price to pay.

(Published 30 August 2015, 05:37 IST)

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