Basant Vineet Pathak and his wife are on a student visa in Sydney. Like any other couple, they work hard to make ends meet.
In between the COVID19 lockdowns and uncertainty Basant’s wife had an offer to work as an admin staff at a cleaning business/ grocery shop.
Basant’s wife was happy to get ‘admin’ job after months of struggle but her smiles didn’t last for even a day.
He wrote on a Facebook group for Indians in Sydney, “With due respect to all the people of this group, I want to share an incident which happened with my wife today which makes me feel all-time low.”
We are on a student visa and my wife was offered a job in an Indian grocery shop at Homebush west on Parramatta road, he added.
“The role was to look after their cleaning business as an admin and sometimes the grocery shop. Today first day, she was asked to clean all the dust and cockroach-infested shelves etc.”
He wrote in the post, “Calling for an admin and asking her to clean the shop which was never cleaned in a year or so.”
“When she asked for water, she was directed to a water point which she drank and realise that there are cockroaches inside!!! The owner did not even felt sorry about it. Are we so low or are we so inhuman that we don’t even deserve freshwater?”
“She started feeling unwell and had to leave the job.”
The most important thing was that an Indian doing this to an Indian. If we want to work for any Indian to earn our livelihood, does it mean that we don’t have self-respect or dignity? Mr Pathak questioned.
“Please do not misunderstand me for taking down our Indian community, this message is intended for those culprits to read this message and feel ashamed of their act.”
Social media users were quick to empathise with the couple.
One of the group members even suggested to report the business to the authorities.
Few suggested to Basant that he should name and shame the business which allegedly treated his wife inappropriately.
But remember social media posts without substantial proof can lead to defamation suits in court.
Ettika Bahri wrote about the plight of people when they are on student visa. She said, “When people know that you are on a student visa they always treat you different, This has happened with my brother as well.”
However, another member of the Facebook group, Vishal Karpey said all is not lost in Indian Australian society. He wrote about his experience working in an Indian store and gave a piece of valuable advice.
Note: If you have any story you want us to cover, please write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org