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#NoRoomRent: Stranded Students and Unemployed Youth in Rajasthan Take to Twitter amid Lockdown

Representative image.

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)

Representative image. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)

The Union Home Ministry had issued an order in last week of March, asking landlords not to demand rent from students, workers and migrant labourers.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: April 30, 2020, 6:30 PM IST
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Facing a slew of hardships for over a month now amid the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, unemployed youths and students in Rajasthan have initiated a campaign on social media, urging the government to have their room rents waived. Fearing joblessness, financial crisis and a gloomy future, the youths have launched the campaign #NoRoomRent on microblogging site Twitter.

And their campaign against the room rent during the lockdown has emerged as one of the top trending topics on Twitter. “We are unemployed and helpless. In this lockdown period, everyone has a loss, so do we. We want the rent for the lockdown period to be waived-off and want the government to get their room rent and coaching classes fee waived-off,” wrote Sumit Maharshi on Twitter. Another user Sunny Joshi wrote, “We are not living in room. Why should we pay the rent for the room? Do something for unemployed students.”

Students explained that some of them have not vacated their rented accommodations while leaving for their home towns from Kota or other cities in Rajasthan where they had been pursuing coaching or various courses, thinking that they would return in a month or so to rejoin their classes. In other cases, they said, their coaching institutes themselves had provided for the accommodations for the coaching period and were continuing to charge for room rents. While some of the students have demanding waiver on room rents and coaching fees, many jobless youths have sought the government to fill pending vacancies, including those for lecturers, Ayurveda doctors, clerks, pharmacists and police in the state jobs.

Considering it to be a major issue arising in the state, some leaders and social activists too have joined the movement. Gurjar community leader, Himmat Singh urged Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to take cognisance of the matter. “I want to request you (Gehlot) that room rents of students studying in cities be waived-off. They come from families dependent upon agriculture. The room rent for three months is about is Rs 20,000. I hope you will take cognizance,” he said.

Upen Yadav, a leader of Rajasthan’s unemployed youths association, Berozgar Ekikrit Mahasangh, too demanded launch of recruitment drive against vacant posts and waiver on room rents for unemployed youths. “Room rent of students preparing for competitive examinations should be waived-off. The fees deposited by students before lockdown should either be returned or adjusted,” he said.

The Union Home Ministry had issued an order in last week of March, asking landlords not to demand rent from students, workers and migrant labourers, he pointed out. Its implementation, however, seems to be a distant dream, he added. Entire Rajasthan is under lockdown since March 22.

About 58 people have died of COVID-19 in the state, where a total of 2,556 positive cases have been reported.

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