The ‘youth’ of India works well for its economy, but does it work well for the youth? With over 65 per cent of the population under the age of 35, India’s young demographic is a matter of great opportunity and pride. But, say youngsters, even major cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai are not welcoming for the young.
A recent survey report by online home renting platform NestAway gives empirical evidence to what the youth has been saying for decades now – India is no country for young renters. The study called ‘Ease of Settling In’ confirms that the single, non-vegetarian young, both men and women, find it increasingly difficult to rent a house anywhere.
Take the example of Surender Sahil Verma, who moved to Hyderabad from Rajasthan a couple of years ago. Compounding his difficulty in finding a place to live in is his profession – he is a theatre artiste.
“I was turned away from house after house, and this went on for a year or so. We theatre artistes have no stable income, so we are seen as risky renters. I had to spend my nights at Lamakaan and other cultural spaces for months before I could find a place to live in,” says the 30-year-old Surender.
On the other hand are house owners, who refuse to cede that they are victimising the youth.
“Today’s youngsters are both upwardly mobile and professionally mobile. I own a three-bedroom apartment near Hitex, but my parents advised me against renting it to a group of girls as they were worried about one or two of them moving out prematurely,” says Karthikk Chellappa, a senior PR professional.
“For my apartment, a family can pay Rs 20K monthly and stay on for years. But a group of young boys or girls paying the same amount collectively is unreliable. What if one moves out, and the other two can’t bear the whole amount? I was a renter myself for several years and faced my share of problems, but the house owner also has his share of issues to worry about, including a stable and trouble-free rental deal,” adds Karthikk.
And, says the survey, the purity of a vegetarian kitchen is still a sacrosanct matter.
“We are strict vegetarians. I don’t mind my renters eating non-vegetarian in my house, but I can’t accept them cooking it at home. Tomorrow, vegetarian renters will refuse to move in because the former renters used to cook meat in the house. Though unfair, one has to take all factors into consideration,” explains Karthikk.