Classism is not new in India, nor around the world. People working as domestic help, delivery boys, sweepers, sanitation staff, rag and waste pickers or cleaners have always bore the brunt and they are facing discrimination based on their job and class in society now, more now than ever before. A housing society in Hyderabad is the latest example of how the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened class segregation in our country. The housing society is being criticised on the Internet for all valid reasons. A notice put up by the society asks ‘maids, drivers and delivery boys’ to not use main lifts or else they will be fined Rs 300. This comes at a time when we are overdependent on food delivery apps to fulfil our day-to-day needs that are getting affected by COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns.
A photojournalist named Harsha Vadlamani tweeted a photo of a notice outside a lift at a society in Hyderabad. The text on the notice read: ‘If maids, drivers and delivery boys use main lifts Rs 300 will be fined.’ Users on Twitter have called the notice ‘racist and discriminatory.’
Now, this notice has divided the Internet into two parts where a section is calling out the society for discriminating against the very group that helps them carry out their daily chores without much fuss while another section believes that it is the only way a society should work.
‘If not discrimination; what’s this!!?’ tweeted a user while another wrote: ‘Yikes. So they can come into your houses and touch the dishes u cook & clothes you wear… they can bring the food you eat.. they can sit beside u in car but cannot get in the “main” lift? Mask up…Why do they have to use service elevator?Its not like they carry huge loads with them.’
Yikesss!! So they can come into ur houses & touch the dishes u cook & clothes u wear.. they can bring the food u eat.. they can sit beside u in car but cannot get in the “main” lift?Mask up😷Why do they have to use service elevator?Its not like they carry huge loads with them🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/MBdwSNufvw
— Haritha23 (@haritha23) January 13, 2022
‘So how do they get up those heights? Take a flight to the 20th floor?’ wrote another user against the notice.
So how do they get up those heights? Take a flight to the 20th floor?— Jyoti Singh (@synchronise1857) January 12, 2022
A few people supported the society’s decision to make delivery boys and domestic help use a separate lift or stairs only. ‘They aren’t requesting you …. they are ordering and setting up rules to be followed…. It’s ok … Have a heart .End of the day u have a bed in ur house ..u don’t allow ur maid to sleep on it Sleeping face So why do u distinguish rules framed my housing society with urs,’ wrote one Twitter user and another tweeted: ‘What’s is wrong in it? We followed this in our earlier apartment too.’
Whats is wrong in it? We followed this in our earlier apartment too— stay hungry stay foolish (@_prasadv) January 12, 2022
They aren’t requesting you …. they are ordering and setting up rules to be followed…. It’s ok … Have a heart .End of the day u have a bed in ur house ..u don’t allow ur maid to sleep on it 😴 So why do u distinguish rules framed my housing society with urs— Afreen Ghani (@AfreenGhani) January 12, 2022
The recent incident reminds us of the time when a mall in Udaipur put up a notice ordering Zomato and Swiggy executives to not use the list inside the building and take stairs instead. The notice had caused a major uproar online.
Do you think banning delivery boys and domestic help from using lifts in societies or malls is valid?