— Consider reading the article ‘No one sleeps hungry in Kashi’, boatman debunks claims that 350 of them are going hungry due to the Coronavirus lockdown on OpIndia website —
Naveen Kapoor, BJP, shared a video of a boatman debunking the claim that 350 boatmen in Varanasi are unable to survive the coronavirus lockdown due to lack of financial help. Bhagat Nishad said that the claims of boatmen’s families not having food to eat are fake. He said that in the city blessed by Baba Vishwanath and Mata Annapurna, it is not possible that anyone may have to sleep hungry.
While thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the help they got from the government, he said, “We received timely help during the lockdown. We appreciate what PM Modi has done for his constituency Varanasi and the country during the coronavirus pandemic.”
मां अन्नपूर्णा एवं बाबा विश्वनाथ के इस नगरी में कोई भूखा नहीं सो सकता है अतः काशी में निषादों के भूखा सोने की गलत अफवाह फैलाई गई है जो पूर्णतया गलत है काशी का निषाद समाज माननीय प्रधानमंत्री जी के नेतृत्व में हजारों लोगों को भोजन कराने में सक्षम हैं @SonuSood @iShashiShekhar pic.twitter.com/g5iPBZPmL3
— Naveen Kapoor (@naveenkapoorbjp) September 1, 2020
Source of the misinformation
On 1st September, actor Sonu Sood quoted one Divyanshu Upadhyay, Secretary Hope Welfare Trust, who shared photos of Ghats in Varanasi with a screenshot of a news report claiming the boatmen do not have enough money or food to survive. The report also claimed that the boatmen are selling their family’s jewelry to survive the pandemic. Sood promised in his reply that the boatmen would receive help today.
वाराणसी घाटों के यह 350 परिवारों का कोई भी सदस्य आज के बाद भूखा नहीं सोएगा।आज मदद पहुँच जाएगी https://t.co/yKzaw6vdcx
— sonu sood (@SonuSood) September 1, 2020
Support from local NGOs
Piyush, Founder of Samarpanam Foundation, replied to Sonu Sood and said they are already taking care of the boatmen in Varanasi. He added that they had supplied essential groceries to the families of boatmen, and Sonu Sood should verify the case and try to provide help using proper channels.