India

India hotel refuses room to solo female traveller

Nupur Saraswat Image copyright Nupur Saraswat
Image caption Nupur Saraswat had landed in Hyderabad for a performance

The plight of a female artist who was refused a hotel room in the southern city of Hyderabad as she was a solo traveller has gone viral in India.

Nupur Saraswat, a spoken word artist, told the BBC she was in the city for a performance but was told by her hotel that "single ladies" were not allowed.

The hotel has argued that the area it is in "is not [the] right place" for single women.

Under the hotel policies, "locals and unmarried couples" are also forbidden.

Ms Saraswat, who lives in Singapore, wrote about Friday morning's incident at Hotel Deccan Erragadda on her Facebook page.

She told BBC Tamil's Vishnu Priya that she had travelled extensively across India and to several other countries and had never been refused a room on the basis that she was a "single lady".

She said that Goibibo, the third party website she had booked the room through, initially said it could not help.

It refunded Ms Saraswat and gave her a complementary room at another hotel after her story went viral.

In a subsequent blog post, it said it had taken her complaint "very seriously".

"We have de-listed the Hotel Deccan Erragadda from our platform pending [an] investigation", it said.

Its statement also included a response from the hotel, which said the hotel was "not against... single women staying in our hotel", but that the hotel was not in the right area for single women.

Ms Saraswat says that when the room was booked, her organiser had not checked the policy, which clearly stated that locals, unmarried couples and single women are not allowed to stay.

But she said that the policy itself was unacceptable.

"Of course, there are also those who have tried to silence this by asking 'why are you making a fuss if it's clearly stated in the policy?' Well I am making a fuss because I am not ready to settle. I am not ready to live in the fear of my safety anymore. I am not ready to have an entire system push me around until I 'find a man to travel with'. I AM NOT READY TO BE CHAPERONED," she wrote.

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