A startup that will help unmarried couple book a room in hotel – trying to change the mindset of India?

“Couples need a room, not a judgement” – StayUncle.com

Sanchit Sethi, founder of StayUncle.com has come up with a unique solution for the couples in Delhi and Mumbai. This year old start-up offers unmarried couples rooms which they can rent by the hour. In our conservative society this is quite a step and an innovative one at that. After all how many couples have we spotted at the parks who just want some private time, but are stared at and given those weird glances?

Recently there has been a trend in India. Self-proclaimed moral polices who have declared that an unmarried man and woman spending time together in public is against our culture. Young couples are vulnerable to vigilante groups who have taken it upon themselves to protect our culture and heritage. It seems even holding hands is a crime. Many such young couples struggle to spend some quality time together. Often it is also difficult to rent hotel rooms in such case.

[Not to digress from the matter in hand but I wonder if a brother holds his sister’s hands to help her cross the street, is that also a crime?]

Enter StayUncle.com. He is like the genial uncle next door who will protect you from that old man next door who is always complaining against you. Sanchit Sethi has found a loophole in our law. It is not against the law for unmarried couples to rent rooms. He is helping couples to find rooms at an affordable place at a good and safe hotels rather than the seedy ones which they often have to opt for. It has tied up with hotels to provide rooms to couples for durations as short as 8-9 hours which was hitherto unheard of.

What initially started off as a venture to provide travelers looking to stay for a small duration in a city with affordable rooms soon turned into a service for unmarried couples when the maximum requests were received from such couples. It is an untapped market and definitely a lucrative one.

The outlook among the young of this country has changed, and to be ostracized because of our changed outlook by people with narrow mentalities can be quite frustrating. Nowhere in our law is it stated that a consenting adult couple cannot spend time together. But neither our police, in the hope of making a few quick bucks, nor the so-called “moral police” understand this. This fear has made couples wanting to spend some quality time together turn towards the service provided by Sethi. It is hassle-free and safe. They don’t have to worry about stares from people. They don’t have to keep looking over their shoulder to see of anyone is coming to harass them. They don’t even have to go to seedy looking hotels to rent a room, nor do they have to haggle with the staff of such hotels. All they have to do is go to StayUncle’s site and choose a hotel enter their details, and viola you have a room. And, you get some of the best hotels even Oberoi and Trident.

I laud Mr. Sethi’s efforts. Not many would have chosen to switch from a safe business proposition to one which is risky and may bring the wrath of a certain section of the society. I hope that in the future they expand to other cities as well.

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