Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
Madhavi Pohukuchi| The News Minute| December 16, 2014| 7.11 pm IST Apartment hunting in any metropolitan city can be time and energy consuming. It is very difficult to find the right house more so now that every other square foot of the street has a brand new housing society, spoils you for choice. Among many of these new high-end posh apartments which boast of the best facilities that can be offered, some also provide one feature that apparently has been made keeping in mind the preferences of customers– a separate staircase/elevator for the domestic help. The separate staircase or elevator is for domestic helps to access their ‘rooms or quarters’ that several apartments across India seem to have. This is also called a ‘service entrance’ by many, but seems more like a subtle way of naming a form of discrimination towards the lower classes. Many buildings even advertise this feature prominently in their adverts in newspapers or realty websites, and it seems people actively seek out for this particular feature. The News Minute decided to call these builders and find out whether these features actually exist and if so why. The first one we called was Orchid Turf View, a huge apartment complex in suburban Mumbai. The realtors of this complex, in one of its advertisements claims that it offers a ‘discerning lifestyle’ and part of that lifestyle is a separate elevator for the domestic aids. The prevalence of this feature, they claim, has been around, for a long time, and this is how the building was designed. They could not offer any other explanation for it. Silverglades Laburnum is another Mumbai building in the suburbs, which is high-end and offers a separate entrance to the servant’s quarters or room. When asked for the reason by The News Minute, we were told that this was for ‘security reasons’; so that no random person could enter your house. The third building we contacted, Brigade Crescent, is in Bengaluru. The builders, when contacted, defended their construction of a separate elevator and room for the servants, by saying that many residents ask for this particular feature as well. The builders even went to the extent of tiling the servant’s room differently – with ceramic tiles rather than the posh marble that the rest of the house is made of. The reason for this, they stated was because many families who don’t have a live-in servant, end up using that room as a storage room, and if any damage occurred, the tiles would be easier to replace or repair. They also asserted that separate elevator and entrance for the servants as a ‘service entrance’ were provided, so that if the residents are entertaining guests, they will not be able see the ‘service section’ of the ‘party’. It is likely that builders have introduced such features in residential buildings, keeping in mind the demand or preferences of potential customers. This sort of discrimination, although subtle, is still discrimination and in a way exposes the mind set of the so called ‘high class’ of society. What will we demand next? House helps that are invisible to the outside world?  Tweet  Follow @thenewsminute Also read- Five reasons why Spice Jet failed

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.