Hyderabad Building Fines Domestic Workers For Elevator Use, Starts Debate On Discrimination

In many of India’s upscale gated communities and apartment complexes, residents often enjoy comfortable lifestyles, and have good jobs, impressive degrees, and respectable incomes. At first glance, you won’t recognize that these people have an inherent class and caste bias. They appear warm, and welcoming and often debate about working towards an equal society on WhatsApp groups. However, this sense of equality frequently falters when it comes to sharing an elevator with domestic workers and delivery personnel.

Recently, a building in HITEC City, Hyderabad, went viral on social media, drawing widespread attention. The notice sternly warned that workers caught using the lift would face fines. The message read, “If maids, vendors & delivery boys use passenger lifts, Rs. 500/- will be fined.”

This incident has sparked a heated online debate about the inequalities that are present within our society and the treatment of service workers in modern urban housing complexes. This is not an isolated incident. In major cities like Bengaluru and Gurgaon, housing societies and apartment complexes have posted notices that bar such workers from using the same elevators as residents. Instead, they are instructed to use service lifts specifically assigned to them or to avoid using lifts altogether.

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Here’s how people online responded to this incident:

In a truly egalitarian society, there should be no place for such practices.

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