Nupur Saraswat is a 22-year-old NRI from Singapore who goes around India for her shows. On achieving Lodging Deccan Erragadda in Hyderabad on Saturday morning, she was informed that in spite of having made an internet booking, she wouldn’t be permitted to remain there.
Nupur had booked her hotel ahead of time through Goibibo, and arrived base there around 11am, just to be denied entry. The hotel revealed to her they didn’t give out rooms to single ladies. She at that point posted about the incident on Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s what she posted on Facebook:
“I am not ready to live in the fear of my safety anymore. I am not ready to have an entire system push me around until I ‘find a man to travel with,” she wrote. And we couldn’t agree more.
So, I am standing outside a hotel in Hyderabad which didn’t let me stay because they realized I was a “single lady” even after confirming the online booking. Yup, massive bag in hand, gross from the journey – just standing outside the hotel. Somehow they decided I was safer on the streets than in the hotel.
Funny huh, how patriarchy works?
Edit: 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.
This could be you – another hotel, another city. (Mine was Hotel Deccan Erragadda). Maybe you’ll arrive in a 11 PM flight and they will refuse to let you stay. So here’s my sincere plea – share this post. Make a scene. Make Goibibo listen. Let them know that women travel solo now and we won’t stay indoors “for the sake of our own safety”. Ask them why they ask us our genders? What is the purpose if not to avoid this?
#HyderabadSaga Part 2:
I want you guys to see what you have done.
1. Goibibo PR team has offered a verbal apology to me for what went down.
2. They have told me that they are getting to the mammoth task of filtering out such hotels -either by not partnering with them or by alerting the customer at the time of booking. I have requested to be kept updated on all of the progress on that front.
3. They have offered me complimentary stay in a different hotel for the duration of my trip in Hyderabad.You guys did this. You made a corporation listen, you took us a minuscule step closer to making solo travel a little easier for women in India.
But of course, there are also those who have tried to silence this by asking “why are you making a fuss if it’s clearly stated in the policy?”. Well I am making a fuss because I am not ready to settle. I am not ready to live in the fear of my safety anymore. 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.
So listen up – a revolution is coming. Women are going to travel alone, and travel EVERYWHERE. The companies who will survive are the ones who can keep up with this.