Last year, Nestaway, an Indian real estate company ran an advertisement with the slogan ‘Homes that don’t discriminate’, as a stand for thousands of people who are denied shelter because of gender, religion, caste or lifestyle. Nestaway’s advertisement was a call to end prejudice, and millions of Indians could relate to it because they were deprived of a roof for reasons as unnecessary as being single, ate meat, dressed a certain way, or followed a certain religion.
On October 15, Arshi Yasin, a digital advertising and marketing professional, posted on social media addressing Nestaway. Yasin mentioned instances where her family was denied two houses in Bangalore because of their religion. The owners of both the houses, being listed on Nestaway, did not even bother to speak to her and straightaway denied the houses.
“What an irony that I am not finding a house in my own home country. What kind of India is lying ahead,” she questioned.
Yasin invited her Hindu friends to discuss the issue to understand their view point and wrote, “#MeToo denied a house because I am a Muslim.” However, after that, she pursued the issue, put in a lot of effort and asked the team to talk to the house owner.
After a few days, the online portal unlisted the first house, which denied renting Yasin’s family, from their platform. The other house owners spoke to her and gave her the house. “They were pretty much comfortable after talking to me and made up their mind to give me the house. Although they have some reservation which I respect,” she posted.
“What I learnt is baat karne se baat banti hai. It is very easy to initiate/endorse/promote enmity/hatred towards the other community but what is difficult is to encourage friendship between two communities. Spread love, not hatred,” said Yasin.
Amarendra Sahu, co-founder and CEO of Nestaway told a daily that as a process they have a practice of sensitizing their owner-partners on not to differentiate on faith or religion.
“For those owners or tenants who still have apprehensions, we arrange for talks to sort out issues,” he said.
Let’s not create a world where we discriminate people from their way of living and deprive them of the basic necessities in life. Let’s thrive to create a better world for ourselves and people around us.
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