Delhi: Baba ka Dhaba owner in ICU after suicide bid | Delhi News


NEW DELHI: A few months ago, during the days of privation due to the Covid-19 lockdown, Kanta Prasad shot to fame after a YouTuber posted a video of the octogenarian in tears at not being able to earn anything at his small Baba ka Dhaba in south Delhi.
The old man is again in the news. Apparently, he tried to kill himself on Thursday. His family informed the media that he is now recovering in a hospital.
Atul Thakur, DCP (South) said on Friday that police received information from Safdarjung Hospital around 11.15pm on Thursday about Prasad being admitted there. “A police officer reached the hospital and collected the medico legal case document, which mentioned intake of alcohol and sleeping pills as the cause of Prasad being found unconscious” said Thakur. “In his statement, Kanta Prasad’s son, Karan, said his father had consumed alcohol and sleeping pills. Further enquiries are being undertaken.”
On Friday, Karan told TOI that his father had been depressed for the past few days. Apparently, the elderly man was caught up in some controversy over the events following the social media attention he got last year and the help that poured in from sympathetic citizens. “He didn’t run the dhaba on Thursday though he went there,” said Karan. “Around 3.30pm, his condition deteriorated and we rushed him to a nearby hospital from where he was referred to Safdarjung. He is admitted to the ICU.”
Last October, Prasad and his wife, Badami Devi, shot to instant fame after a video of the teary-eyed dhaba operator went viral. The day later, the nondescript dhaba at Malviya Nagar had serpentine queues of customers from early morning. The couple received cash and stocks of food items from people across India. They were flooded with offers of sponsorships from companies, while a few even proposed opening Baba ka Dhaba franchises in other states. The couple was also able to undergo free cataract surgery.
However, their story turned ugly in the first week of November when Prasad went to the cops alleging financial irregularities by the YouTuber, Gaurav Wasan, who had posted the video and triggered off the wave of contributions, both financial and in kind, for the old couple. However, Prasad was criticised by people on social media for acting against the man whose video had not only made him famous, but also helped him weather the lockdown penury.
Prasad was in the news again when he opened a restaurant in December last year. “My brother and I oversaw the restaurant’s operations while my father continued to run his dhaba,” said Karan. “The dhaba was closed for some days after my parents’ cataract surgery. The restaurant did not prove successful because its location was not right.”
News recently surfaced of both the restaurant shutting down and Prasad apologising to Wasan for his allegations. The YouTuber told TOI, “After Baba apologised to me, I went to meet him. I forgave him.”
Tushant Adhlaka, who helped Prasad open the restaurant, said, “Baba has changed his view about the complaint he lodged against Wasan. I don’t know why he did that. I met him last in February, but he called me a few times after that and spoke normally to me.” He added, “Even after starting his restaurant, Baba continued to run his old dhaba. Perhaps his sons did not devote proper time to the restaurant. The restaurant’s business was also affected by the pandemic.”


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Elena Johaness

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