Humans of Bombay, a page on Instagram that documents different individuals' stories stories of struggle and triumphs recently faced severe backlash for one of its post.
In a collaboration with actor Sanjana Sanghi and beer brand Budweiser, HOB wrote about how Sanjana helped her domestic workers during the pandemic, and how she helped them get their vaccination slots. She also spoke about how they had been very helpful to her during the pandemic, and how she was returning the favour.
However, Diet Sabya, another page on Instagram, called out the post for its tokenism and highlighted how Humans of Bombay and Sanghi had used her three domestic workers as props to improve her own image.
As Diet Sabya put out the story, more and more people responded to it with their own inputs and called for HOB to take down the post.
Here are some screenshots of the post:
One user wrote about how celebrities and influencers end up using their domestic workers who are not in the same social strata as them for their own gain.
Others pointed out how the word "helpers" or "maids" are demeaning. Helper suggests the work is done voluntarily, and also doesn't do justice to the labour that the worker puts in, considering the job of a domestic worker is very physically demanding.
Many pointed out how the post just reeked of upper class privilege.
Some other predictions about possible responses also came up.
Another important point that rose out of this conversation was also the fact that getting vaccination slots for the people you employ is the bare minimum, something that every employer should do. It is not a favour, but a duty, and hence it shouldn't be glorified like this but made the norm.
One user also spoke about what goes on behind the scenes and how these campaigns are crafted.
Both Humans of Bombay and Sanjana Sanghi have now taken down the posts.