New Delhi, July 7 : Finding modern, furnished and -- most important -- safe housing for students enrolling in Delhi University has become easier.
When students from other parts of India join DU, getting a good and secure accommodation is a major concern.
In recent years, besides traditional forms of rented accommodation like hostels, paying guests (PG) and shared apartments, modern and organised accommodations which allow parents to keep an eye on their children have come up in Delhi.
Thanks to digitalization, the PG and hostel industry has witnessed the birth of start-ups like Stanza Living, Coho, OYO and Nest Away -- and they have changed the way 'PGs' operate.
With text message updates available to parents, biometric entry, mobile app-based food selection and maintenance of rooms, the modern accommodations have mushroomed in residential localities around North and South Campuses, changing the way students live.
Concentrated in Vijay Nagar, Kamla Nagar and Shakti Nagar close to North campus and in Satya Niketan and Anand Niketan near South Campus, these student housings already cater to around a thousand students.
The monthly rent varies between Rs 10,000 and 20,000 for a room, depending on the location and amenities.
The occupants in triple sharing rooms obviously pay less.
The traditional PGs comparatively charge less.
The modern ones provide hotel like amenities with 24x7 CCTV monitoring, creative interiors and choice of menu.
One of the pioneers has been Stanza Living.
Coloured in sea blue and yellow theme, the rooms in its accommodation are furnished with separate almirah for each occupant, study tables, chairs, book shelves on the walls and have attached bathroom.
The students also get a common area with television set and indoor games.
The parents get text message updates when their ward reaches late or skips the last entry-time in the accommodation.
The students can apply for late entry or night out through the mobile app but their parents have to accept it and inform the hostel manager, through the same app.
Gunjan Bansal, a B.Com student from the prestigious Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), has been living in Delhi for a year-and-a-half and is happy with the accommodation.
She is full of praise for the movie nights, indoor games, recreation activities and just getting together with other students that her accommodation offers.
"It helps in creating a new social circle away from home," said Bansal, who moved to DU from Chandigarh and lives in Los Angeles House in Vijay Nagar.
Some accommodations help newcomers team up with others from their own college or doing the same course.
Said Aditya Dutta, co-founder, Stanza Living: "We ensure that students get the best community living experience.
Under Stanza Social they can enjoy movie shows, indoor and outdoor games tournaments, music programmes and more."
In this admission season, freshers in North Campus throng stalls put up by these start-ups outside Hindu, SRCC, Hansraj and Kirori Mal colleges.
A few students, however, have some issues with these accommodation.
"They asked me to sign a 11-month-stay agreement.
But as I am new to the city there are chances that I will leave Delhi if I find it uncomfortable. In that case, I would have to lose my security deposit. That made me opt out," said Esha Agarwal, who visited the Tokyo House at Satya Niketan.
Another student who did not want to be quoted told IANS she did not want any of the modern accommodation because her parents would then know when she was leaving or entering it.
"I want freedom. That is why I came to Delhi."
But for every such 'no', there are plenty of takers among students -- more so their parents for whom safety is a key concern.
(Rohan Agarwal can be contacted at email@example.com )