BookMyBai, an online platform where one can find a house-help, has put a blanket ban on Bollywood celebrities, after getting multiple complaints of gross misconduct.
In a blog post, one of the site’s founder, Anupam Sinhal, wrote about 5 Bollywood celebrities (they haven’t been named), mistreated the house-helps, after hiring them through Book My Bai.
The company’s CEO said that he agreed it’s unfair to generalise but pointed out that out of all the people who availed the site’s service, Bollywood celebs were the only lot that treated the maids badly.
A celebrity even refused to relieve her house-help despite learning that he (the house-help) had to go to his home-town to perform the last rites of his mother.
Another one refused to cough up the money Book My Bai charges as their fee, threatening to go to the ‘Crime Branch.’
One celebrity even physically abused a maid, who eventually ran off to her village, never to come back.
Here are some of the disturbing allegations of mistreatment:
“Celebrity 1” Mr Sinhal claims did not allow her domestic help to travel to Bihar to perform his mother’s last rites. The reason? She reportedly wanted a replacement before allowing him to leave. “I have no words to the extent of disgust I now have for this lady,” Mr Sinhal writes.
“Celebrity 2” reportedly drives a Rs. 3 crore car but “doesn’t give food to her domestic help. NO FOOD!!! Really!! Drink tea and eat bread 3 times a day. Wow!”
Worryingly, “Celebrity 3” has been accused of physical abuse. Mr Sinhal writes that the company wanted the woman to file a complaint at the police station but she refused. “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. We understand her concern,” he writes. “Without her support the police refused to take a complaint and we couldn’t file a case against the employer.”
He adds that the celebrity in question also threatened to post negative reviews of BookMyBai to her 4 lakh Twitter followers.
“Celebrity 4” reportedly threatened legal action against BookMyBai.com after her domestic help fled. Mr Sinhal claims that was due to the “verbal and physical abuse (that) was a part of her daily routine.”
“Celebrity 5” refused to pay BookMyBai’s service charge of Rs. 15,000. “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!” (Do what you want).”
“All these cases disturb me,” Mr Sinhal writes. “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,” he adds.