In a unified move from the Hindu community in the U.S, Niraj Shah, the CEO of home goods retailer Wayfair has been urged by Hindu activists to stop business dealings with a federal contractor that is helping the operation of migrant children detention centers near the U.S.-Mexico border .
The board members of Sadhana, a progressive Hindu organization, published an open letter to Niraj Shah which was signed by more than a dozen other prominent Hindus. This includes Vineet Chander, the Hindu chaplain at Princeton University, and Indian human rights activist Swami Agnivesh, among other scholars, spiritual leaders, and scholars.
The letter reads as follows: “As Hindus and scholars and practitioners of Hindu traditions who share your concern about poverty and human suffering, and your demonstrated commitment to addressing it, we hope you will reconsider Wayfair’s involvement in the humanitarian crisis at our US-Mexico border.”
The letter also stated that selling beds to the federal government to be used in migrant detention where men, women, and children are held, is almost equivalent to being an accomplice to the “inhumane policies” that the government of the United States has adopted towards migrant families.
This is the not first time Wayfair has received pressure to stop its business with the government. A few weeks ago, the company’s employees staged a walkout at its headquarters in Boston to protest the company providing furniture to the federal contractor. The employees were protesting against the company’s reported plans to fulfil an order from BCFS Health and Human Services for beds to be used in a Texas detention camp. The order was worth $200,00. This act of dissent drew in hordes of supporters from across the globe who strongly criticized the U.S government’s treatment of migrants at the border.
From this order, the retailer would have made a profit of about $86,000, which the employees asked the executives to donate to a non-profit organization called Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. In response, the company released an internal letter which said that they would “sell to any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate.” Later, the executives announced that a total of $100,000 would be donated to the Red Cross.