In a viral blog post on the site, Anupam Sinhal, CEO of Bookmybai, wrote a blog detailing incidents of bad behaviour by celebrities with helpers and maids.
Bookmybai bans film celebrities, lists 5 instances of 'horrendous' behaviour with maids
Mumbai - 19 Apr 2017 15:12 IST
Updated : 15:24 IST
Few film celebrities can survive without the army of helpers who follow their daily routines and help them function. However, not all of them treat their most important helpers well. At least not according to the CEO of Bookmybai.com.
Anupam Sinhal, CEO of Bookmybai, a high profile website that helps in procuring house help services announced that the company will no longer be servicing clients from the film industry after 'horrendous' experiences with them.
In a detailed blog, that has since gone viral, Sinhal wrote, "Fortunately, out of the 10,000 households that we have served, we have not come across even a single case of harassment/exploitation. But this figure comes to a rest when it comes to providing a domestic help to a 'Bollywood celebrity'.
He went on to add, "We all are fans of some celebrity or the other. We look upto them. They become role-models. Some of them also get prestigious National Awards for their work. Bookmybai has worked very closely with a lot of Bollywood celebrities and provided them with a good domestic help in Mumbai and other cities and our experience has not been less than horrendous."
While this statement might sound a little hyperbolic, Sinhal's blog lists down detailed experiences of celebrities treating their helpers in a degree that might be called human rights violation.
1. When a celebrity wouldn't grant leave even for 'death'.
In one incident, Sinhal noted how a 'celebrity' refused to offer her help an urgent leave of 10 days after the help's mother passed away. Sinhal wrote, "The 'celebrity' called us and told us that she wont let the person go till the time we send in a replacement. This was at 5.45 pm on a Saturday evening. Our office is shut on Sundays. We promised to send a replacement on Monday and requested her to release the helper since he has to go for his mother's last ritual. Guess what! She did not. She could not care less. We did give a replacement on Monday. But the helper missed out on her mother's last ritual. I have no words to the extent of disgust I now have for this lady."
2. When a celebrity would not feed their helpers
This was not the only instance of shock for readers. Sinhal also narrated an incident of a celebrity who "drove a Rs3 crore car" but refused to offer her domestic helps food. "Each maid worked for 7-10 days before giving up and quitting. She drives a Rs3-crore car. Doesn’t give food to her domestic help. NO FOOD!!! Really!! Drink tea and eat bread 3 times a day. Wow!" Sinhal added that when they refused her any more service, the celebrity threatened to send bouncers to "fix the company" up.
3. The celebrity who abused their servants
Sinhal's blog details not just mental and emotional abuse by celebrities, but physical ones too. In one incident pointed by Sinhal, a celebrity physically abused the maid every day. "Physical abuse of the maid was almost a daily affair. As soon as we got to know, we asked the maid to leave as soon as possible. When she came to our office, we could see physical marks on her body of physical abuse. We supported her and wanted to file a complaint in the local police station. But she asked us to let it go. She didn’t have the time to run to the police station every time the police calls her. Every time she would be summoned she would have to miss work and not get paid," wrote Sinhal.
4. The one who mentally scarred the servants
There was another incident of a celebrity being so verbally and physically abusive that she scarred the help emotionally. Sinhal wrote, "However her attitude towards the staff was not less than someone who is uneducated. Verbal and physical abuse was a part of her daily routine. The maid got so fed up that she just absconded to her village and never came back. This left such a huge scar in her mind that later she told us she would never want to come back to any city. Now this left us to wonder. How do these people abuse their domestic helps as slaves."
5. The one who refused to pay up
Although Sinhal refused to name the celebrities, despite a growing clamour among his readers to shame them, there are subtle hints that narrow the prospects. For instance, in the last story of a celebrity who refused payment for their services, Sinhal writes, "Initially when we were calling her for our payment, she stopped taking our calls. Later she flat-out refused to pay and said — 'jo karna hai karlo!' — If I am not wrong, she got multiple crores as alimony from her husband. She infact told us that if we call her again then she would file a case of harassment and extortion with the crime branch. CRIME BRANCH! Wow!"
As a warning to his fellow entrepreneurs, Sinal wrote, 'For Bookmybai the safety and security of our domestic help is the highest priority. We are fine if we do not earn money from a certain employer. The least that we expect is that he/she can treat a person like a human should be treated. I also hope the legal system of this country improves for the better so that these ladies who work as a domestic help feel empowered and do not feel scared to report a case of abuse."
Since its publishing, the post has gone viral with the social media taking up cudgels against people treating their helpers as slaves. It remains to be seen if such a move, while laudable, will make a difference to the entitled lot.