Online food delivery platform Zomato on Thursday said it has withdrawn an advertisement that showed the actor who played the Dalit character “Kachra” in the Hindi film Lagaan as items made of recycled waste.

The advertisement drew a connection between the character and the Hindi word for garbage. It showed actor Aditya Lakhia, who played the character in the film, as a lamp, paper, paperweight and watering can, along with a text detailing how much recycled “kachra” was used to make each item. The advertisement was uploaded on World Environment Day on June 5.

Zomato on Thursday said that the advertisement aimed to show the company’s effort in recycling.

“Unintentionally, we may have hurt the sentiments of certain communities and individuals,” the company said. “We have taken down the video.”

Several users on social media, including film director Neeraj Ghaywan, criticised the advertisement for being casteist and inhumane.

“Kachra from Lagaan was one of the most dehumanised voiceless depictions of Dalits ever in cinema,” Ghaywan said in a tweet. “Zomato used the same character and made a repulsive casteist commercial. A human stool? Are you serious? Extremely insensitive!”

Filmmaker Madhurita Anand also said that the advertisement was offensive. “One has to wonder who these people are who created the advert, approved it and put it online without once thinking about it,” she said.

Communications strategy consultant Karthik Srinivasan told PTI that Zomato did not think adequately about making the character perform seemingly dehumanising and menial tasks.

“There’s a context to Kachra’s character in Lagaan, and within the larger spectrum of commercial entertainment in India, on how castes are portrayed, and how Dalits, in particular, are portrayed or stereotyped,” he said.