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Where to go?

DU students form a community to challenge the authority’s decision to oust hostellers during CWG.

entertainment Updated: Aug 04, 2010 00:51 IST
Namya Sinha

What began as an online forum to protest the eviction of Delhi University hostellers in order to provide accommodation to Commonwealth Games (CWG) delegates, has turned into a significant on-the-ground movement.

The Facebook community, called ‘Resist Forced Eviction of Students in the name of Commonwealth Games’, was begun by a group of students in June this year; the community has asked authorities to ‘act now to stop displacement in the name of CWG’.

The group’s initiative has started gaining momentum and now, has 1,000 members. It is holding regular meetings and protests.

“In one case, the students of Miranda House were not informed that hostels won’t be available due to the CWG. They were only informed in late June, unlike other colleges. As a result, this Facebook community was created. We are running this campaign in the name of ‘Community for Democracy’. Teachers, students and even some vendors are a part of this movement,” says Amrapali Basumatary, Assistant Professor, Kirori Mal College, and a member of the community.

“On July 30, a meeting took place at Faculty of Arts, where the Dramatics Society of Khalsa College staged a play – Khel Khel Mein – around CWG, highlighting issues such as eviction of students, infrastructure and corruption,” she adds.

The main concern of the members is the resulting inflation in the cost of renting private accommodation. Average prices for paying guest (PG) accommodation in the North Campus area have skyrocketed. A PG in Kamla Nagar that would cost 6,000 earlier, is now charging 10,000 a month.

Vasundhra Jairach, an M Phil student at Delhi School of Economics, says, “I live in a flat in Vijay Nagar and the rent that is normally increased by 10%, has been increased without any order.”