Kanta Prasad (80), who runs the now famous Baba Ka Dhaba in Malviya Nagar, South Delhi, has filed a complaint against YouTuber Gaurav Wasan for allegedly misappropriating donation money that was raised to help him and his wife.
Gaurav had posted a heart breaking video of the elderly man and his wife on October 6, which showed the couple talking about lack of customers at the eatery in Malviya Nagar, post lockdown, following which several people donated money.
A day after this heartbreaking video, #Babakadhaba was trending on Twitter and the food joint was flooded with more customers than it had seen in the last 30 years of being in business.
On Sunday Prasad (owner of Baba ka Dhaba) told a media organization that he had 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 said.
— Pradyut Chowdhury (@just_jerry_69) October 29, 2020
The complaint filed by Prasad, along with a group of men, at Malviya Nagar police station Saturday claims Wasan “deliberately shared his and his family’s bank details and collected a huge amount as donation”.
DCP (South) Atul Kumar Thakur said, “We received the complaint yesterday and are enquiring into it.” However, no FIR has been registered yet.
Social Media Outrage:
Before the complaint came into light, famous YouTubers like Madstorm and Lakshay Chaudhary posted social awareness videos with captions like "Jaago donor jaago". In their respective videos the YouTubers were seen urging the public to help the needy around them instead of blindly donating to someone all the way in Delhi. YouTubers raised their concern about how people were travelling from other cities to Delhi to donate to Baba ka Dhaba instead of donating to the less famous needy residing in the next street.
Last week Youtuber Lakshay Chaudhary also raised a concern over how the donations were being collected by Gaurav Wasan in his own bank account which seemed fishy. The video gained 1M+ views following which many nitezens took to the internet to question Gaurav Wasan about the appropriation of donated money received by him and few even spoke about the double standards of donors who donated to Baba ka Dhaba.
Loopholes and Timeline :
1. In the Initial video released on Oct 6 2020 on Gaurav Wasan's YouTube channel 'Swad official' which now has 3.3M + views, Gaurav is heard saying that the couple has only made a sale of 50/- from 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM. The couple was also heard saying that they were struggling to make both ends meet and often the investment exceeded their income. However, in the police complaint the owner of Baba ka Dhaba, Kanta Prasad (80) has said that his average daily sale was of Rs. 10,000/- until the video went viral after which the sale had decreased to 3000/-to 5000/- per day as people were more interested in taking selfies than eating at the dhaba.
2. On Oct 14, 2020, a week after the first video, a second video was released on 'Swad official' in which the owner of Baba ka Dhaba is head saying that prior to lockdown his daily average sale was Rs. 1000/- to Rs. 1200/- leaving them with a profit of Rs. 7000/- to 8000/- per month. However, post lockdown their average daily sale dropped to Rs. 250/- to 500/-
In the same video Baba also said that his life had changed and perhaps become better after Gaurav's video went viral as it attracted more customers along with donations. But, the narrative given by Baba in the police complaint contradicts what he was heard saying in the videos uploaded on 'Swad Official'
3. On 7 and 8th Oct, 2020 Gaurav posted a video on his Facebook page in which both Baba and Gaurav were seen informing the viewers that they had received sufficient money and needed no more, subsequently they also urged the viewers to now help other needy people which again contradicts the possibilities of ‘financial difficulties’ Baba has mentioned in the police complaint.
4. On 28th Oct, 2020 Gaurav uploaded a third video on YouTube relating to the same issue. In this video he showed proofs of the appropriation of donations and clarified various user queries. This video also contains a small clip of Baba and Gaurav in which Gaurav can be seen handing over a check of Rs. 2,33,000 to Baba. Following which he's also heard saying to Baba that Baba's remaining money is safe with him and he will provide the same to Baba in no time.
Gaurav's Defense :
Gaurav denied the allegations and said he transferred all the money into Prasad’s account. He said “When I shot the video, I didn’t know it would become this big. I didn’t want people to harass Baba (Prasad) so I shared my bank details…” Wasan shared three receipts of the transactions, all dated October 27 — two cheques of Rs 1,00,000 and Rs 2,33,000 and one receipt of bank payment of Rs 45,000. He said this was the amount of money collected in the three days. Wasan also put up a bank statement on Facebook in which the total money credited in the three days is around Rs 3.5 lakhs. When he was asked about the other two transactions, Prasad said he hasn’t been able to check his account as he doesn’t carry his phone.
Public Response :
However, social media users are having a hard time trusting Gaurav as they seem dissatisfied with his explanations. Many YouTubers even raised a concern that Gaurav shared excel sheets as proof of the funds received by him which doesn't qualify as a valid proof as excel sheets can be edited. People are growing further suspicious about Gaurav's intentions because the comment section of Gaurav's latest clarification video on YouTube was turned off.
While some YouTubers alleged Wasan received Rs 20-25 lakhs, Wasan denied it and provided more clarity on the matter in a video posted on his YouTube channel on 28th Oct 2020. He said, “We have initiated legal action against the YouTubers.”