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Now, mall wants special girl's father to delete his Facebook post

Neville Dhabar had taken to the social networking site to speak about the treatment meted out to his daughter Tiana at the gaming zone of Oberoi Mall last Saturday; he now says authorities have repeatedly been asking him to delete the post

“I have been getting continuous calls from the mall authorities, who want me to delete my Facebook post and bury the matter, but they refuse to apologise publicly. I am not standing up for my child alone, but for all those who have faced a similar situation,” said Neville Dhabhar, father of Tiana, a special child.

Also read: 6-yr-old special child told to stay away from playing area in Mumbai mall

Neville Dhabhar’s six-year-old daughter, Tiana, a special child, wasn’t allowed to enter Fun City the gaming zone at Oberoi Mall in Goregaon. Pic blurred on request
Neville Dhabhar’s six-year-old daughter, Tiana, a special child, wasn’t allowed to enter Fun City the gaming zone at Oberoi Mall in Goregaon. Pic blurred on request

After mid-day reported how Tiana, a special child, wasn’t allowed to enter the Fun City the gaming zone at Oberoi Mall her father Neville Dhabhar has been receiving constant calls from the mall authorities, asking him to delete the post he had written on Facebook about the incident (‘Manager bars special girl from entering gaming zone in mall’, July 30). The post received sharp and angry reactions from people, who spread the word and showed solidarity with Neville and his family.

mid-day had reported on the incident and Neville’s subsequent Facebook post on July 30
mid-day had reported on the incident and Neville’s subsequent Facebook post on July 30

Neville said, “I have asked the authorities to ask Fun City to issue an apology publicly, which they refused to do. The GM of the mall, who has been calling me ever since the matter got printed, said that they have called for an urgent meeting, for which the franchisee’s head officials are flying to Mumbai. I fail to understand why they are asking me to delete the post, if they will not apologise to me.”

He added, “In the last call, they told me that they have been getting international calls condemning the incident that took place in their premises, and that they would want to discontinue the topic.” The mall, as well as senior officials from Fun City, has been requesting Neville to meet some officials, who, they say, have flown down from Bangalore only to meet him.

The Bandra ALM has also extended its support to the family. Zameer Palamkote, one of its members, said, “The least that the management of Fun City can do is to tender a public apology not only to the Dhabhar family, but to all families with children having special needs, who are appalled by this behaviour.”

He has also written to the other ALMs, requesting that they support the family, and says that the response has been positive. “There have been hundreds of people who have written to me, sharing moments where their child or relative was humiliated.

They have encouraged me and thanked me for standing up for all special children, for lending them a voice. I don’t mind meeting the Fun City heads, but only after they apologise on Facebook, Twitter and to the media,” explained Neville.

The incident
Last Saturday, Neville Dhabhar and his wife took their daughter, Tiana, to Fun City, a gaming zone, in Goregaon’s Oberoi mall. As soon as they reached the third floor and were about to enter the playing area, an attendant of the store came to the couple and said the manager would like to talk to them.

When they met with the manager, he told the couple that he couldn’t allow their daughter, who has partial albinism, in the playing zone. Asked why, the parents were told that ‘children are getting scared looking at her because she is a special child’. After other parents rallied around Tiana, who was finally allowed in. Neville later recounted the ordeal in a Facebook post that went viral and was reported on in mid-day.

The other side
Nirzar Jain, VP, Oberoi Mall, said, “Oberoi Mall deeply empathises for the unfortunate incident that took place at Fun City with Mr Neville and his family. We have connected with the customer and apologised for the incident via telephone.

We would surely want the senior management of Fun City to personally meet the family to express their apology and regret. We have taken this up with management of Fun City and will ensure that such incidents do not occur in future. Mr. Neville has been regularly visiting Fun City gaming zone earlier, and we hope to seek his forgiveness for this one incident.

We would like to reiterate that we respect and treat every child equally, and it is our endeavour to provide the best facilities for them to enjoy and have a great time. Referring to the post, we have only requested Mr Neville to mention about Fun City in the post, since the incident which caused the aggravation happened at their end.

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