A Friday night out with friends at the Cyber Hub here turned out to be a nightmarish experience for a young woman after she was refused entry to a ‘Raasta Gurgaon’ restaurant for being in a wheelchair.
After the woman shared her ordeal on microblogging site Twitter, the incident sparked debate and outcry with calls for a boycott of the restaurant.
The woman, who identifies herself as Srishti on Twitter, said she was “heartbroken”, “terribly sad” and felt “disgusted”.
“Should I stop going out at all only then?” Because apparently I don’t belong to others. Because I’m a “disturber” to others. Because their moods are apparently “ruined” after watching me. (sic),” said one of his tweets.
The woman had been to Cyber Hub, a high-end dining and entertainment destination in DLF Phase-II. After reaching the place, her friend’s older brother looked for a table for four at “Raasta Gurgaon”, but the reception staff reportedly ignored them twice. When he asked again, the staff told them the wheelchair would not fit inside.
“We thought it was an accessibility issue, but it wasn’t. We told him we would manage, just book us a table. What he said next shocked us all for a moment. He told us while showing me that “andar customers disturb hojaynge” (customers will be disturbed) and refused us entry, with such ease. (sic),” Srishti wrote, recounting the incident.
After much discussion the staff told them to get a table outside. But it was cold, sitting outside wasn’t safe for her. Eventually, the group was asked to leave.
The woman also posted a short video of the conversation between her friend’s brother and the restaurant staff.
She received a lot of support, with many sharing their similar stories and calling for a boycott of the restaurant.
In a post on Raasta Gurgaon’s Facebook page, the manager expressed deep regret over the incident, adding that he stands for inclusivity and would never want anyone to feel isolated for any reason. The post said restaurant management had already contacted the woman to personally apologize and was taking steps internally to raise awareness.