Domestic workers

Pune Housing Corporation’s separate lift for domestic workers sparks debate and divides netizens

With high-rise buildings becoming more common in India, the debate over elevator segregation for domestic workers keeps resurfacing on social media. The latest comes from Pune, where a notice asked all pets, housekeepers and service staff to only use the elevator assigned to them. The notice went viral and reignited the debate about discrimination against those providing services.

In a photo shared by Twitter user Sandeep Manudhane, the notice taped to the outside of an elevator door read: “Housekeepers should use elevator C or D only.” Another adjacent poster further specified: “The milkman, the newspaper and courier distributor, the laundress, the workers, the painters and the pets must only use elevator “D”. »

Angered by the notice, Manudhane said: ‘Segregation of humans comes naturally to Indians’, adding that the photo was taken at one of Pune’s biggest and fanciest housing corporations.

As the tweet garnered a lot of attention, many argued that this was not an isolated case of Pune, but a fairly common practice in cities across the country. While some were irritated and said the advisory should be removed, others tried to defend it, saying it would only have been discriminatory if helpers had been asked to use the stairs instead of the lifts.

Many have argued that housekeepers are generally advised to take these service lifts as they stop at every floor and such frequent stops would inconvenience those who reside on the upper floors. Many others said that while it was acceptable for such segregation to minimize contact between residents and others due to the pandemic, others said it had been standard practice for years now.

A similar poster that went viral earlier this year, which came from Hyderabad, said people were breaking the rule would be fined.