After a McDonald's in Pune threw out an underprivileged child, outrage in social media has led the restaurant management to issue a statement that it would take appropriate action after an internal investigation.
The local McDonalds came under heavy fire after a woman executive posted on Facebook how restaurant staff manhandled and threw out an underprivileged child while she was buying a drink for him.
Shaheena Attarwala posted on Facebook on Thursday that she had visited a McDonalds in Pune on January 10 where an underprivileged child begged her for a drink. When Attrawala decided to go back inside the restaurant to buy the child a Fanta float, she asked him if he would like to go inside with her, stand in line, and buy the drink himself.
According to Attarwala's account, the fast food restaurant staff immediately pushed the child out of the joint. "A staff member came and dragged him from the collar and threw him outside saying we don't allow such people. It is extremely unfortunate; a human being should be considered and respected as a human," she alleged.
Despite clarifications from Attarwala that she had brought the child inside, she claimed that the restaurant staff was rude to her and told her "that these kind of people are not allowed inside."
An angry Attarwala took to Facebook to post the account, also narrating the sequence of events in her personal blog, demanding a response from McDonald's.
She later posted that the local McDonald's staff later called her after watching the CCTV footage of the episode, claiming that they threw the child out since they had "a bomber incident" in 2012. Raising questions on whether McDonald's would throw her own child out if she brought him in, she wrote, "So all people dressed shabbily are looked down upon?"
As Attarwala's story was picked up by media, reported by several online and social media outfits, McDonald's India later issued a statement saying, "We wish to affirm that we treasure and respect everyone in equal measure and do not support any form of discrimination."
The restaurant confirmed, "We are investigating internally an issue that has been reported on an incident involving a street child... We shall be examining if our employees have in any manner breached basic courtesy and respect and take appropriate action."
"McDonald's seeks to provide all our customers a safe and welcoming environment. We will always ensure that our guests feel comfortable, safe and looked after."
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis stated that he would get back to the media after he had collected all the information on the incident.
Child rights activist Archana Sahay on Saturday condemned the incident of an underprivileged child being thrown out of a McDonalds restaurant in Pune, saying every child had the right to access all amenities.
"Every child has the right to take advantage of every facility and such kids for whom McDonalds is like a dream, so people should rather encourage it," Sahay told ANI.
"I condemn what the McDonalds staff has done," she added.
(with inputs from ANI)