If you notice closely, you will find innumerable methods by which domestic works, delivery persons, etc. are discriminated against on an everyday basis. One of them being denying them the use of lifts in a housing society or having a separate ‘service’ lift allotted to them.
For example, take a look at this sign that reads that maids, drivers, and delivery persons are to not use the main lift and if they do so, they’ll be charged Rs 300 as a fine. This sign seems to be from a housing society in Hyderabad. The picture was posted on Twitter by Harsha Vadlamani, an independent photojournalist who has been published in top publications like CNN, New York Times, Al Jazeera, etc.
Cyberabad, 2022. pic.twitter.com/4XrldTlEel
— Harsha Vadlamani (@Hrsha) January 12, 2022
Now, this notice sparked a debate online. On one hand, there were people who defended the move. Some called it a Covid precautionary move, others called it ‘normal’ for housing societies. A few claimed that this was to ensure domestic workers, delivery persons don’t spit and dirty the lift, thus making a sweeping generalisation.
Many apartments have main lift and a service lift. Doesn’t it clearly state don’t use main lift? We can outrage perhaps if there is no service lift and domestic help have to climb 10s of storeys. Can you confirm if there was no alternative arrangement?
— Salil Akolkar (@salil2k) January 12, 2022
It’s clearly mentioned that it’s for main lift. For helping staff, there’s service lift which should be used by them especially in the times of covid. Waste collection in Thrash cans, shifting work or other service work should only be done through service lifts.
— Shivam Aks 🇮🇳 (@AksShivam) January 12, 2022
There are service lifts for helps and other services . People staying in high-rises will understand this aspect
— Arnab (@UnknownIndian12) January 12, 2022
its mentioned “Main lift ” so there must be another Lift
Also, in covid times many societies have banned entrance of maids/Milkmen/vendor ..reason being their exposure .. and lift is a very sensitive place due to everyone touches the buttons …hence the precaution
— Sonu 🍥 (@Sonu15March) January 12, 2022
But what a lot of people highlighted is that this is discrimination nevertheless and equated it to age-old practices like having separate steel cups and plates for domestic helps, them using the back door to enter a building, etc.
.@AAP_TS .@AAPTELANGANA .@Aapindirashoban .@AapHyderabad plz find all such buildings and request the residents to remove such discriminatory and racist notices removed. If they want support staff then they must be treated at par. https://t.co/dY0MVqPMje
— Adv. Somnath Bharti: इंसानियत से बड़ा कुछ नहीं! (@attorneybharti) January 12, 2022
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The way this notice reads is discriminatory, in bad taste & not consistent with a forward looking IT hub, where future leaders work. It needs to be removed forthwith. I request @MinisterKTR to sensitise people on why such messaging is offensive & should not be used, henceforth.
— Bharat Wakhlu (@Dilleye) January 12, 2022
Why discriminate? Why can’t they use the main lift? These same maids cook, clean & serve you food too, don’t they?
This has been going on way before covid unfortunately. Some residents along with me helped change that in the condominium I was staying at in Gurgaon, thankfully.
— Rohini (@RohiniBhowmick) January 12, 2022
Maids working in the kitchen is no problem but not use the lifts?
Nonsense, from whichever angle you see.
— Venkat Reddy (@Venkat_R_) January 12, 2022
“Education has absolute zero correlation with basic humanity and decency” – this has been one of my longest held delusions of childhood and the most impactful eye opening lessons of my adult life.
— Soumodip (@soumodip_dtpl) January 12, 2022
More than this picture the comments justifying this rule bothers me ..
Your logic of having a service lift for maids is the same as lower caste must enter the house through Backdoor in the olden times!
— Subomani (@subo27696) January 12, 2022
Why not ask the residents to go to the building gate/lobby to collect their packages and food instead. As for house helps, if you can share a kitchen you can share an elevator!
— Kauboy (@kausv) January 12, 2022
This mindset is prevalent in most Indian upper class society. There is a clear economic segregation happening here when questioned they always maintain owners Pay for maintenance and apartments. This BS and elite mindset is new Indian untouchability but sophisticated
— ✌️PeaceMongerᴾᵃʳᵒᵈʸ ᴴᵃᵗᵉ (@PeaceMonger143) January 12, 2022
It’s 100% discrimination on some people
previously it happened on caste not visiting temples now it’s happening in other way because they are doing less status jobs #Society can’t accept everyone equally.
— Veemala 🇱🇸DHFJagan🇱🇸 (@veemala33) January 12, 2022
With changing times, the method of discrimination also changes. To assume that drivers, domestic workers, and delivery boys would dirty the lift or spread Covid while numerous upper-class, well-educated people continue to throng Goa maskless and urinate on the roadside sounds a bit…nonsensical, doesn’t it?