BABA KA DHABA- SOCIAL MEDIA MAGIC
Social media has the power to change lives, and the latest example is an elderly couple Kanta Prasad and his wife Badami Devi in Delhi whose Baba ka Dhaba, the little blue box at Malviya Nagar in South Delhi, was the centre of attraction of many eyes across the country. A day after the heart-breaking video, #Babakadhaba was trending on Social Media and the little blue box food joint was flooded with more customers than it had seen in 30 years of being in business across the country.
Due to the lockdown, everyone is taking strict safety measures to be safe from the spread of Corona Virus, therefore, most people are staying inside their homes and are avoiding eating outside food because of which the elderly couple were unable to sell their homemade food. Since 32 years (1988) the couple is running Baba Ka Dhaba but during the lockdown, they were barely able to make much of business lately.
On Wednesday, a user shared a video clip showcasing the financial difficulty they were facing. The video went viral and was trending on twitter. In the video, Kanta Prasad shared that he starts his day at 6:30 am and they prepare fresh food by 9:30 am daily. They also shared that they don’t have a fixed menu and they keep switching between different varieties of dishes every day. The elderly couple has three children, two boys and one girl and none of them provides support to the couple in earning the bread, in spite, they themselves take care of the living of their children. They provided breakfast and lunch at a very reasonable cost. An 80-year-old Kanta Prasad was seen bursting out in tears as he showed his half-day earnings, which was just Rs.70 and he discussed how because of the lockdown his earnings were hampered.
On Thursday, it was a complete turn-around of the fate for the elderly couple. The video that went viral, showed the magic of the internet and a huge number of people outpoured outside the Baba ka Dhaba. This shows how a single video made with the right intention can bring the attention of millions of people across the country and make them take an initiative to bring a smile on the old man’s face.
Photographs were shared all around the internet showing people line up outside the food joint. The Internet has helped people to literally come together in order to help the old man and his family, who count on the little blue box (Baba ka Dhaba) for their survival. As the day progressed we witnessed many influencers, bloggers, and netizens reaching the place, clicking photos, creating the videos with Prasad and his wife and posting it on the social platform. Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti has also offered help to the couple and also tweeted that “he has visited “Baba Ka Dhaba” and have done the needful to bring SMILE on the faces of the couple as he has promised. He also mentioned that he will take care of them and also he is going to start a drive to take care of similarly placed people around the city.”
This truly depicts the power of social media in today’s time and how we can utilise it in the right manner. Zomato India came forward and listed the Dhaba for their online food delivery services. This small video created a revolution in many minds. People are providing aid to many of the small scale businesses. It only took one day and one video from selling Rs 70/- of food to selling out the whole food in a couple of hours.
All these efforts were justified when in an interview the old man Prasad said that he feels that the whole of India is with them and he also said that there are so many people like him who don’t have shelter, food or basic amenities and urged everyone to come forward and support small vendors around them. Everyone was touched by the heartbreaking video where the old man cried due to the circumstances he was in and the other day he had a million-dollar smile on his face which was completely priceless. This was achievable because of the initiative taken by a single person who added a ray of hope for many more such vendors. This is the way one should make a difference using the power of the internet. It is the need of the hour that we start supporting more such local vendors and help them in reviving their business after such a grazing pandemic.
This is the story from Delhi where we can clearly see the gratitude in the eyes and smile of the elderly couple but we should also remember that just like them, there are so many local vendors who are going through the same situation and need our support. We all have made plans to go and hoard different places (restaurants, café) after the pandemic but what about these local vendors who had a rough time? The Big businesses will thrive but we can’t let these people plunge down. These local vendors are the beauty of our cities, they are the ones who add extra flavours to our evening outings or midnight bike rides.
Empathy – Love – Internet has enormous power to change anybody’s situation. You don’t have to visit Delhi to support Baba ka Dhaba instead lookout for one in your neighbourhood. Make people smile but not in social pressure, it only takes little love, little appreciation and sharing kindness to make someone smile.
The festive season is around the corner, it would be great if we can support such people as much as possible for them to enjoy and have fun in festivals. Remember they are not begging, they are not stealing, they are earning for themselves with a lot of dedication and hard work. So help them, even a small amount will make a difference for them.
Let’s continue this trend by supporting more people and create a better world together.