Indian McDonald’s Facing PR Headache After Staff Threw Out Street Child

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
January 22, 2015 3:53 pm Last Updated: January 23, 2015 8:28 am

McDonald’s in the western city of Pune, India is considering retraining its staff after one of them pushed a child out of its restaurant earlier this month.

The child had been selling balloons outside the McDonalds. A female customer agreed to buy the boy a drink.

When she was standing in line with him, a security guard reportedly behaved very rudely to the woman and pushed the child out of the restaurant, saying “these kind of people are not allowed inside,” the woman said on Facebook.

The issue caught wider public attention after the woman shared the story on social media.

The facebook post of the McDonald's customer who offered a street child a drink in the restaurant in Pune, India on Jan. 10. The child was pushed out of the restaurant by a staff member and the story went viral on social media. (Facebook)
The facebook post of the McDonald’s customer who offered a street child a drink in the restaurant in Pune, India on Jan. 10. The child was pushed out of the restaurant by a staff member and the story went viral on social media. (Facebook)

“Who are THESE KIND OF PEOPLE?” the woman, Shaheena Attarwala said in a Facebook post. “Worse not anyone from the public even bothered to stop or even raise a word.”

The publicity of the incident fueled public outrage and some people even hurled cow dung at the outlet, temporarily closing it, India Today magazine reported.

Now McDonald’s is having to do some PR repair.

“We shall examine if, in any manner, there has been a breach in basic courtesy and respect and take appropriate action, including retraining where required,” a McDonald’s spokesperson told the Economic Times.

Pramod Kulkarni, the secretary of SATHI, an NGO that rescues street children and unites them with their families, said the issue shows the plight of these children in India who face exploitation and abuse.

He says that many people believe these children are on the street because they have bad families, but that isn’t always the case.

This child at the McDonald’s in Pune could be a case in point. On Tuesday, a couple from the central Indian city of Bareilly saw the child on TV and thought he looked like their lost son, according to the Times of India newspaper. Their eldest son went missing in 2012 and they believe he somehow made his way about 900 miles south to Pune.

They are asking authorities in Pune to help find him.