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As much as Mumbai is known for its vada pav and heavy rains, it is also known for its fast-paced life and the dependency on bais or domestic help that play an important role in helping women in the city survive the tough times.
This is why there are many online websites that provide domestic helps to not only the middle-class households but also the elite families of Cuff Parade, Juhu, and Versova. Yes, that's where most of your favourite Bollywood celebs reside. But, if we believe in the rumours that are making news for the last couple of days, these celebs have not so famous stories on the way they behave with their bais.
Yes, that's right. A leading domestic help provider from Mumbai, www.bookmybai.com, has banned Bollywood celebs from availing their services because of the various cases of misconduct that their recruits have seen in the last one year.
In a blog post, that went viral minutes after it was shared on social media, the owner of the portal has said revealed some dirty, dark secrets of Bollywood celebs and their kaamwaali bais giving specific examples of five celebs and how they mistreated, abused and even refused to pay their domestic help.
In the first instance, Anupam Sinhal, the CEO of the company talks about a celeb who wanted a full-time maid for only 4000 per month! Yes, that's right!
[Screenshot courtesy: Bookmybai.com]
"She came to us looking for a male helper at a budget of Rs. 4000 per month! This is even lower than the minimum wage of Maharashtra. After a lot of negotiation, she finally agreed upon Rs 10000 per month (which was still on the lower side considering she has a 4-bhk home and the helper needed to clean the home 6 times every day! Yes- 6 times!). Unfortunately, the mother of the helper passed away. The helper wanted to go his village to perform the last rituals. The “celebrity” called us and told us that she won't let the person go until the time we send in a replacement. This was at 5.45pm 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. Guess what! She did not. 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," he wrote in the blogpost.
The second celebrity, writes Anupam, replaced a maid 7 times in three months!
"She is a unique case altogether. She has a huge home in Mumbai suburbs and she hired a maid through us. BookMyBai has a 6-month replacement clause with the employers which means that if any domestic help leaves within the first 6-months, then we would provide a free replacement. The extent of torture and harassment to the maids was so high that we replaced maids 7 times. Each maid worked for 7-10 days before giving up and quitting. She drives a 3 crore car. Doesn’t give food to her domestic help. NO FOOD!!! Really!! Drink tea and eat bread 3 times a day. Wow! Finally we gave the full-refund to the lady since she threatened us that her brother will send in a few bouncers to our office and “fix” us up. I didn’t want this atmosphere in my office and chose to part ways," he writes about the celeb.
The third celebrity who Anupam talks about has around 4 lakh followers on Twitter, but she used to physically abuse her maids every single day. Such was the extent of the abuse that the marks could be seen on the maid's body.
"This experience actually convinced my team that we would not deal with celebrities anymore. 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. We understand her concern. Without her support, the police refused to take a complaint and we couldn't file a case against the employer. The best part is this – We have a very strict abuse clause in our contract and the employer is not given a replacement if there is any form of abuse. The celebrity called us and told us that she has 4 lakh followers on twitter and she would post bad tweets about the company if we don’t give her a replacement. We enquired with the building security guard who says no one stick in this home for over a week since she beats them all," he writes about celeb number three.
The fourth celeb that Apuman writes about, paid well, but treated her help like her slave!
"She has all the money in the world. Yet she couldn’t solve her maid issues. Her P.A. reached out to us and told us about the requirement. Initially, we were very excited since this would open up avenues for future round of funding for the company too. She was also paying well. 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 help as slaves. Again – we were threatened with legal cases and obviously, a small startup of mine cannot deal with legal notices from lawyers who charge Rs. 25 lakhs per hearing! We refunded and closed the case."
The fifth celeb on Anupam's list got crores from her money as alimony from her husband, but was not willing to pay the portal Rs 15000 service charge.
"This one is a classic. She took a maid from us. Everything was fine and the maid was happy. No abuse/harassment whatsoever. However, she refused to pay us our service charges. BookMyBai charges about Rs. 15000 for a live-in maid. 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, in fact, 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!," writes Anupam in his blog post.
Anupam ends the note with a warning for other celebs and elite clients saying that these are just a few cases that he's listed.
"These are just a few cases which I have listed out. We have never come across cases like this with our not-a-bollywood-celebrity clients. Even if there is a deficiency of service, we mutually resolve the issue and come to an understanding. However, these celebs have shaken our trust in all of them and we have now issued a blanket-ban," he writes.
It is often said that money can't buy you class (and manners) and this case is just a perfect example of that. We as parents often forget that how we treat our housemaid and helpers has a deep impact on our kids mind because we interact with them the most and like it or not our kids are watching our every move.
This is something anchor-turned-cook-turned-author Maria Goretti also believes in. Maria says that for her it is very important that her kids respect everyone around them
"I always wanted them to be good kids, have good manners and respect everyone around them, it does not matter who that person is… you just have to respect other human beings. I always want them to be kind and courteous and have basic manners. That for me is very, very important," she said in an exclusive interview to theindusparent.
Here's how you can teach your kids to be respectful and courteous to the people who help them:
1. First of all, practice what your preach. Be polite to everyone, especially your house help, not only when your kids are around but also when you're alone.
2. Count your blessings and thank the people who help you. Treat the people who help you with respect and love and never forget to thank them for their efforts. Your kids would also learn in the process.
3. Ask your kids to be thankful and respectful towards them. Also, discourage them to ill-treat or make fun of the helpers.
4. Never discuss money matters related to your helpers in front of your kids.
Also read: How to raise empathetic children
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Avantika Kukreti is a mother of the cutest five-year-old daughter in this world, who keeps on amusing her everyday with her amazing storytelling prowess. She also happens to be a multi-platform media professional with 9 years of experience in lifestyle writing and editing.
-Editorial Type India News