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: “Maids should use elevator C or D only.” Another adjacent poster further specified: “The milkman, the newspaper and courier distributor, the laundress, the workmen, the painters and the pets must only use the 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.
Segregation of humans comes naturally to Indians.
From one of the biggest and classiest companies in Pune
— Sandeep Manudhane (@sandeep_PT) May 5, 2022
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.
Not at all surprised. Towards the end of my undergraduate here in Pune and one thing that I have personally seen is; compared to Delhi, Pune has much more classism. https://t.co/QtPaai9Fxg
— Yogesh Kulkarni (@__yogesh007) May 7, 2022
I’ve seen housekeepers only use stairs, it’s all nerve-wracking, including the language used https://t.co/VOVj4bcE6q
— 𝔧𝔲𝔰𝔱𝔞𝔤𝔦𝔯𝔩𝔫𝔢𝔵𝔱𝔡𝔬𝔬𝔯 (@mumbaichiporgii) May 6, 2022
Maids must use the stairs, they are not allowed to use the elevators in #karur apartments https://t.co/BCLK9apAUQ
— Tuticorin (@tutyperson) May 6, 2022
it’s less about so-called maintenance, it’s more about the “mental comfort” of orthodox residents/makers, who feel uncomfortable because a service worker is in the same cabin as them for about 20 seconds. and its culture at such a young age. https://t.co/0KftRBVSzx
— guncle sam (@faguettipasta) May 5, 2022
They should be ashamed. What’s the point of all education of what they want to do? https://t.co/z92VxN3MVx
— Anand Acharya (@ElasAnand) May 5, 2022
A society where EDUCATED Savage NOBLE lavish their foolishness preaching EQUALITY and selling CHARITY. Masked identities of the Draconian Gentry class. https://t.co/dR7Erj2zKn
— Ravishankar (@Ravishankar4771) May 5, 2022
What about housekeepers who help you keep your house clean? Also, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the wala paper, they take the elevator to the top floor and go down using the stairs. It’s also faster for them.
— ritz1919 (@ritz19191) May 5, 2022
No mask, no entry sign is enough for COVID. Do not put the blame on a poor virus, the virus does not discriminate unlike rich UCs
— வே மு சதீஷ் (@vmsatheeshh) May 6, 2022
It is better to have a service lift and freight/utility lift identified and labeled as such, instead of labeling people.
Unless the idea is the segregation of the “haves” and the “have-nots”. If so, then they’re on the right track (pun intended).
— Gopinath R (@RajaramGopinath) May 6, 2022
Such notice is an offense punishable in India under various laws.
(For example: according to Article 9 of the SC&ST Act 1989, one can incur a prison sentence of 6 months to 5 years for this).
All it takes is a good lawyer! Members of the apartment association will be running from court to court/jail!
— Ajai (@ajai_cs) May 5, 2022
Ridiculous. No respect for work, no matter who does it.
— Pradeep Hardikar (@PradeepHardikar) May 6, 2022
If all the items mentioned above stop working for a day, you see chaos… during the pandemic, our society was chaotic..😂
— Neelufisherman. (@neelufisherman) May 5, 2022
Service elevators were originally designed to transport equipment such as air conditioners, refrigerators, etc. Now they have become a service lift. It’s even worse in apartments with only 1 lift. Maids are expected to walk 3-5 floors.
— Deviprasad (@deviprasadv) May 6, 2022
A similar poster that went viral earlier this year, which came from Hyderabad, said people were breaking the rule would be fined.