Thanksgiving Week took on an entirely new meaning at the Resort Hotel, Mumbai. The management of the hotel decided to recognise and appreciate the work of the cleaners of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
During the Covid period, while the rest of the hotel staff and management — and indeed, the entire citizenry — were confined in their rooms, these frontline workers were on the roads, keeping the city clean while at the same time having to protect themselves from the virus. They had to brush aside concerns about their own families and children as they were required to focus on maintaining the hygiene of the city. Ironically, they were unable to oversee the hygiene in their own homes during this period.
The hotel organised hi-tea for the workers and followed it up by a free medical check-up for all of them. This included eye check-up, ECG, complete blood profiling, and consultation with a medical doctor.
Speaking about the event, General Manager Mr Satyajit Kotwal said, "When we talk about basic rights, the working classes do not enjoy the respect which is enjoyed by the business classes or other white collared people. Dignity of Labour is a concept preached but not practiced by the affluent class. It is very clear that manual labour is extremely important and necessary for the smooth functioning of society. Giving this class the respect and dignity that are due to them is very essential."
A BMC staff member declared, "This is the first time somebody has recognized that we too are human with the same concerns that others have. Normally we are taken for granted and blamed when things don't go well. We thank the Resort for creating awareness about the importance of the work we do."
The Resort hit upon the idea of using the period around the American Thanksgiving to express thanks and honour the staff of the Municipal Corporation. Each one of them was thanked individually.
This initiative of The Resort can be compared to the pioneering efforts of the first pilgrims who paved the way for the creation of a great nation. It has given a whole new meaning to dignity of labour, elevating Mumbai 's social ranking among the great cities of the world.