A picture showing a bench seat in Delhi metro coach, woman sitting on the floor, her employer sitting on the seat with child had gone viral for the connotations of caste and class discriminations it carried.
Seen in Delhi metro: Mother and child take seats while the child’s nanny sits on the floor on a fairly empty train. Caste/class discrimination really is space-agnostic. pic.twitter.com/cawsIU2zWs— Sanya Dhingra (@DhingraSanya) January 20, 2018
The picture shared by The Print journalist Sanya Dhingra had the caption, 'Seen in Delhi metro: Mother and child take seats while the child’s nanny sits on the floor on a fairly empty train. Caste/class discrimination really is space-agnostic.'
The picture stirred up the social media, with a barrage of comments slamming the woman employer for class bias. The picture struck a chord with many because, as Shekhar Gupta wrote, “In no other urban Indian situation does class inequality show up as starkly as in employer-domestic worker”.
However, the woman in question (the mother) has now shared her side of the story, accusing the journalist for 'taking advantage of (their) situation' and bringing her in an unwanted spotlight.
Writing in her brother's blog, the woman, a doctor at AIIMS, narrates what, according to her, is the 'whole story'.
According to the woman, she, her child's nanny, and her child chose to sit on the floor as they had a lot of luggage to take care of. When the child became restless, she says she couldn't stay put and had to carry him across the compartment and keep him occupied.
"My baby dislikes being seated when he has the opportunity to interact with so many people, so my nanny sat there with the bags and I started taking a walk with my baby in the coach. After some time, he became restless, so we started playing with other kids to distract him. We were offered seats to sit by many generous ladies but I knew he wouldn’t sit in one place for long and declined the offers," she writes.
According to her account, she tried to distract him by making him stand on the seat and look out through the window.
"As and when there was space in between two women, I made him stand there to see the lights and traffic outside to distract him briefly but to no avail. Eventually, I decided to feed him. As he has recently learned to eat by himself, he happily opted for the option and sat next to one of the girls."
The woman also refutes the journalist's claim that the nanny sat on the floor despite there being a vacant space at the seat.
"There was no vacant seat, only space created by the girl," she says.
The journalist, she says, when inquired with the nanny, was told she was 'comfortable' sitting on the floor.
“This now puts me in a difficult situation. A person who doesn’t know either me or my nanny, who doesn’t know the other side of the story, will carry the most repulsive impression of our family. It’s heartbreaking that this picture will continue to be used without any context and portray us as exploiters,”
"I am a doctor at AIIMS, Delhi and we, at this premier institute, continuously serve the poor.....then, how can I, being in public service, misbehave with a lady who stays with me, who takes care of my baby just because she is poor.
"she (the nanny) stays with us, eats with us, laughs with us, travels with us and even sleeps where we sleep," she adds.