New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) Destiny of an elderly couple, who were struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic-induced lockdown, changed overnight when a huge crowd thronged outside their make-shift food joint to enjoy home cooked food after a heartbreaking video went viral on social media.
Good fortune knocked on Kanta Prasad and Badami Devi’s door, a night after the story of their struggle amid the unprecedented coronavirus crisis moved lakhs of people, including celebrities, politicians, and even companies, prompting an outpour of support.
The husband over 80-years-old and his elderly wife, both frail and weakened by growing age, had been maintaining the small food kiosk ‘Baba ka Dhaba’ near Hanuman Temple in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar, since 1988. Usually a popular joint before Covid struck, the couple lost their daily income as people started avoiding roadside food.
A few days back a video on social media showed Kanta Prasad break down as they could not even sell a plate of chappatis and matar paneer. His frail wife rolled out the rotis and he cooked them over the stove fire. The utensils were spotless clean, the mixed daal looked delicious, said the videographer. “But none are ready to eat them,” whimpered Prasad, complaining that through the day they cannot even sell out 500 gm of “daal or sabzi”.
He cried ruing over their loss of livelihood.
The Thursday morning was different though. And it was the first time that things looked up for the elderly couple since unlocking started.
“After the lockdown, our situation had become worse. We used to set-up shop at 6-7 a.m. and make food by 9.30 a.m. but no customers came. This morning I opened the shop at 6 a.m. and by 9 a.m., the food was sold. People are giving us so much love. Our lives have changed overnight.”
Prasad said that he has two sons and a daughter, but no one helps them.
His elder son Azad Hind informed IANS, “I was an office boy before the lockdown but then I lost the job. I am currently looking for work.” For the last three decades, his parents have been selling home cooked food like dal, chawal and roti at nominal prices.
The video, which went viral, was originally uploaded by a good samaritan on YouTube and later shared on various social media platforms. It got over a lakh views. In the video, when the YouTuber asks about the earning, they say, “We are not able to earn much.” Prasad claimed that they earn Rs 70 every day.
At the end of the video, the old man broke down and was seen wiping away tears. The overnight campaign caused #BabaKaDhaba to trend on Twitter. Several people also posted images and videos of their visits to the eatery after watching the video.