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Pune Housing Society's Notice Separating Lifts for House Helps, Labourers Causes Uproar

Since being shared by Twitter user Sandeep Manudhane, it started a debate. (Credits: Twitter/@sandeep_PT)

Since being shared by Twitter user Sandeep Manudhane, it started a debate. (Credits: Twitter/@sandeep_PT)

A Twitter user shared a photo of two stickers put up on the elevators at a 'posh' housing society in Pune.

A Pune housing society has once again highlighted the deeply-entrenched classism and casteism in India. A Twitter user shared a photo of two stickers put up on the elevators at a “posh” housing society in the city. One of them stipulates that a “house maid” (an outdated term for a house help) should use two particular elevators. The other sticker stipulates that “Milk man, news paper and courier distributor, laundry person, labours, painters and pets [sic]” are to use another particular elevator. Since being shared by Twitter user Sandeep Manudhane, it started a debate on the microblogging platform.

Some Twitter users claimed that it was not “segregation” but that it was done for a utilitarian purpose so that the service-providers could dispose of their duty more efficiently, while others argued that the reason was obviously classism and any other explanation might be “deliberate misinterpretation”.

This is, by no stretch, an unprecedented occurrence in India. Earlier this year, a Hyderabad housing society put up a notice asking ‘maids, drivers and delivery boys’ to not use main lifts or else they will be fined Rs 300. This came at a time when people were overdependent on food delivery apps to fulfil their day-to-day needs that were getting affected by COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns.

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first published:May 07, 2022, 14:01 IST