Baba Ka Dhaba : The story of an unending hope

Ever since the lockdown, life has been very difficult as the pandemic has hit the economy very hard rendering many people jobless. Recently, a heart wrenching video of an old man crying over not making enough money ever since the lockdown in Delhi got viral on social media. The old man in the viral video is Kanta Prasad and has been running this food stall since 1988 with his wife Badami Devi. The octogenarian couple originally hail from Uttar Pradesh and moved to Delhi when he was 21. Interestingly, the couple were married when Prasad was five and his wife was just three-years-old.

In the viral video, Kanta Prasad can be seen crying as he tells Wasan (One recording the video) that he could only sell food worth Rs 70 in the day. “After the lockdown, nobody is coming to buy from us. Our cost of preparing is Rs 400 alone,” adds Prasad. Kanta Prasad and his wife have three children, but, he says in the video, none of them supports them. The couple comes to their small eatery at 6:30 in the morning and prepares the food by 9:30 for sale. The cost of one plate is Rs 50, and it includes dal, rice, two vegetables and pickle.

Since the video was uploaded it has been viewed 80,000 times on YouTube alone. It also prompted an outpouring of support from people, including celebrities and political leaders, all of whom sought to support the couple. The campaign also caused #BabaKaDhaba and #Malviya Nagar to trend on Twitter and multiple people posted images and videos of their visits to the eatery after seeing the video. A day after the heart breaking video, the food joint was flooded with more customers than it had seen in the 30 years of being business.

Social media has the power to change lives, and the latest example is an elderly couple in Delhi who’s Baba Ka Dhaba in Malviya Nagar has now been listed by Zomato for online food delivery too.

Baaba ka Dhaaba is a story of never ending hope. God listens to you, he says. “Not now, but may be at 30, 40, 50 or even at my age-80. But one day whatever you had wished for, with honesty would come to life making you dream further.”
Prasad says he wishes to live longer now, with his wife as the pillar. “She learnt quickly how to pose for the camera, I took some time! But now we want to go to shop, have someone work for us like the rich people do & I will take her out for a ‘chai’ like our younger days! This seems just the beginning,” he says.

In the era of social media, where the number of likes, comments and shares can make anyone’s day by determining the popularity of an individual or idea, every individual can start a change process. Every coin has two sides and so does social media. The negative side sometimes overpower the positive side of social media as has been recently displayed in a Netflix movie called ‘The Social Dilemma’ but the recent viral video #BabakaDhaba has displayed the power of social media as it’s completely the choice of social media users of what they want to share and like. So let’s support the small businesses in India as they are in the dire need of support especially during these extraordinary times of Coronavirus Pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission of making India “Aatm Nirbhar” can become a reality only when we will change our attitude towards small businesses and enterprises. One should ponder upon ‘Why Brand Purpose is everything but not everything is brand purpose’.

The big marketing revolution happens when a brand really puts itself in people’s shoes, embracing the commitment to represent society and dare to transform the culture as the catalyst of a broader conversation that is more people-oriented and less product-oriented. Telling relevant stories where the hero and protagonist is the audience. With less promise and more purpose because what really matters isn’t what or how brands do things, but why.

Good and meaningful stories like that are bigger than products; they humanize brands. When used effectively, social media can play an enormous role in promoting people’s happiness and in bringing a genuine smile on their faces. Viral video brings back luck to elderly couple running food stall in Delhi.

written by :- Ishika Chaudhary

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