India hotel refuses room to Singapore woman due to 'single' status

India hotel refuses room to Singapore woman due to 'single' status
PHOTO: Facebook/Nupur Saraswat

Hotel policies are a norm everywhere.

But it might seem a tad unusual for some if these rules extend to certain groups of people only - like unmarried couples and single women.

One woman was refused a room while travelling solo in India recently and she shared her experience on social media on June 24.

Nupur Saraswat was travelling alone in Hyderabad but was denied a room at Hotel Deccan Erragadda all because of her single status.

She had made a booking for the  room via third party travel website Goibibo.

She wrote: "This was my first experience with this form of discrimination. Also, first experience with Goibibo.

"I just want to let you all know that I was extremely lucky to have arrived early in the morning and had the sense to put up this post just when it happened so my inbox flooded with well-wishers, and one of them took me in."

Her post has since gone viral as it attracted over 3,000 likes and reactions on Facebook as well as almost 2,000 shares.

on Facebook

So, I am standing outside a hotel in Hyderabad which didn't let me stay because they realized I was a "single lady" even...

Posted by Nupur Saraswat on Friday, 23 June 2017

In an interview with BBC Tamil, Nupur said she had "travelled extensively across India" and had never experienced anything like it before, especially not based on her relationship status.

She added that Goibibo initially told her "it could not help" her but they gave her a complimentary room at a different hotel after her post went viral.

Nupur later revealed in a follow-up post that the Goibibo public relations team offered a verbal apology to her and said they would be "filtering out" hotels similar to the one she had booked initially.

on Facebook

#HyderabadSaga Part 2: I want you guys to see what you have done. 1. Goibibo PR team has offered a verbal apology to me...

Posted by Nupur Saraswat on Saturday, 24 June 2017

In a blog post titled 'Goibibo Cares for Women!' published on its website, the firm said: "We take such issues very seriously backed with action ... We have de-listed the Hotel Deccan Erragadda from our platform pending the investigation."

Goibibo included a response from the hotel which said that it was "not against... single women staying in our hotel", but that the hotel was not in the right area for single women.

Nupur, who is a spoken word artist, also said she was aware of netizens who "tried to silence" her objection by asking her why she was kicking up a fuss.

"I am not ready to have an entire system push me around until I "find a man to travel with". I am not ready to be chaperoned," Nupur wrote in response to naysayers.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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