The owner of Baba ka Dhaba, a small roadside eatery in South Delhi that suddenly became famous when its video went viral on social media, has alleged a YouTuber of embezzlement of donation funds. Kanta Prasad, the owner of the eatery, has registered a complaint in the Malviya Nagar Police station against Gaurav Wasan, the man who shot his video, which went viral. Once the video went online, it brought a lot of customers to the joint and a lot of donation money.
Prasad alleged that Gaurav Wasan received a lot amount in his account as a donation in his name but he gave him very little amount. He also alleged that instead of giving his (Prasad’s) account number on social media for crowdfunding, Wasan gave his own and his family’s account details. As per a report in The Indian Express, Prasad said he has only received a cheque of Rs 2 lakh from Wasan. “I don’t get a lot of customers now; most people come here to take selfies… Earlier, I was earning over Rs 10,000 per day, now it’s Rs 3,000-Rs 5,000,” he reportedly said.
What is Baba ka Dhaba controversy?
It all started in the first week of October, when a YoubTuber Gaurav Wasan shared the video (watch the video) of the elderly couple, who run a small food joint in Malviya Nagar. In the videos on Instagram, the couple, who are in their 80s, could be seen with teary eyes and complaining that no customers came to their food stall post lockdown. His teary-eyed videos suddenly went viral on social media and help started pouring in from everyone. The video also grabbed the attention of many celebrities, who didn’t think twice before sharing the video and requesting people to help the dhaba owners. Actors like Sunil Shetty, Raveena Tondon and Randeep Hooda, shared the video and requested people to visit Baba ka Dhaba.
“#बाबाकाढाबा #dilliwalon #dil #dikhao. Whoever eats here, send me pic, I shall put up a sweet message with your pics ! #supportlocalbusiness #localvendors,” reads the tweet of actor Raveena Tondon.
“Let’s help put their smile back … our neighbourhood vendors need our help too,” reads the tweet of actor Suniel Shetty.
As expected, people started flocking to Prasad’s joint and the couple not only got fame but also a lot of customers. This shot up their sales manifold. It was a like a celebrity moment for them when people started jostling to take a selfie with the couple and media personnel lined up to interview them. Not only this, a food delivery giant Zomato also added the Dhaba on their app. This continued for quite some time till news of embezzlement of funds broke.
Kanta Prasad has been running the eatery since 1990, and serves homemade food like parathas, rice and dal. But the pandemic affected their business as people stopped eating out. But it all changed after Wasan’s video.
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The donation scam
As per reports, Kanta Prasad, the owner of the food joint, has alleged that Gaurav Wasan, who made his video, has misappropriated the donation amount. Kanta Prasad said Gaurav Wasan deliberately gave his own account number on social media to moblise crowdfunding, instead of Prasad’s account. Another YouTuber Lakshay Chaudhary (watch video) alleged Gaurav Wasan got more than 20 Lakh but gave Kanta Prasad only Rs 2 lakh.
However, Wasan refutes these claims of embezzlement of the fund. He said when he shot the video, he didn’t know it would become this big. “I didn’t want people to harass Baba (Prasad) and so I shared my bank details…” He also shared three receipts of the transactions, all dated 27 October, 2020 ~ two cheques of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2.33 lakh; and one receipt of bank payment of Rs 45,000.
“All allegations against me are false. I had assured Baba that his money was safe with me, and I have proof of the same. I’m in the process of arranging bank statements to prove the same,” said Wasan. However, it is still unclear why Wasan gave his own bank account when Kanta Prasad had an account. The police said they are investigating the matter.