An objection last week by members of a housing society in Bandra West to two single women moving into their building has angered unmarried youngsters, who say they routinely suffer similar humiliation.
A week ago, the two women, a non-resident Indian (NRI) and an American, were given a two-bedroom flat in Grace Residency on 21st Road, two weeks after they had signed a leave-and-licence agreement with the flat owner, Shrichand Mandhyan. When the NRI, Shilpa (not her real name) tried to move in, she said the society’s committee refused to give the owner a no-objection certificate that would allow her and the American to move in.
The two women are among a growing number of young, single men and women who find themselves being stigmatised by housing societies when they go house-hunting. (See first-person accounts.)
“This has been quite stressful because I have long working hours and am new to India,” said Shilpa, who came to India three months ago. “Last Thursday, I received a letter from the committee stating that they had a policy by which single or unmarried people, especially foreigners, could not stay in the building,” said Shilpa. “I tried to reason with the committee members and asked them to interview me, but they refused.”
She added, “It is unfair for them to not even give me a chance, especially when my owner had agreed to rent the house to my friend and me.”
Shilpa said she gave the letter to Mandhyan, the flat owner, who apparently told her he had negotiated with the committee members to let her stay for a few weeks till she finds another house. Shilpa’s American roommate had planned to shift in a little later.
Mandhyan and the society’s secretary Ashok Ramchandani declined to comment.