No roof for Dalits and Muslims in NCR

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JanPratinidhi
JanPratinidhi

No roof for Dalits and Muslims in NCR


COLUMNS / This Still Happens in India   /   Jun 16, 2015
Devika Seth
Devika Seth
She studied English literature and graduated from the University of Delhi. She seeks to pursue a successful career in the field of literature. She is also a trained Odissi dancer and has debuted as a poet in ‘When Cupid Struck its Arrow.’

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New Delhi: In the five metropolitan areas on NCR, Dalits and Muslims are being turned down for getting houses for rent, a study disclosed on discrimination in urban housing rental preferences, which will be published in the upcoming issue of Economic and Political Weekly.

The team of researchers which is led by Prof K Thorat, chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, includes Anuradha Banerjee, Vinod K Mishra and Firdaus Rizvi. The scholars tried to get houses on rent in Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Noida between January and March 2012.

They contacted the “home providers” through telephonic conversation and personal meeting. People looking for home had same credentials with names suggesting their caste and religion.

During the study 493 each Muslim, upper caste Hindu and Dalit home-seekers approached “home providers” through telephone and meeting. As a result, it was revealed that no upper-caste Hindu received a negative response. On the other hand, 18% Dalits and 31% Muslims were turned down. With other conditions, the percentage rose to 51% Dalits and 71% Muslims struggled to find a house on rent in NCR.

“This indicates a clear case of market failure,” says Thorat, “where even prosperity does not allow you to buy your way out of discrimination… The studies do reveal that Muslims are even worse off than Dalits as far as the rental housing market goes.” 

“Non-monetary motive often prevails among landlords renting out houses,” says the study, which chose Delhi for the research as it is often considered amongst the most migrant-friendly and cosmopolitan cities in India. “While about 18 per cent of Dalits faced outright refusal from upper-caste landlords due to their caste, 23 per cent of them did get houses on rent but with differential terms and condition such as high rents and other restrictions. In case of Muslims, about one-third of them faced outright refusal from the landlords due to their religion, another 35 per cent managed to get houses on rent but with differential terms and conditions.”


The views expressed here are those of the authors and doesn’t reflect the official policy of Janpratinidhi. The views expressed here are those of the authors and doesn’t reflect the official policy of Janpratinidhi.
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