Social media has just again added another notch on its belt by coming out to support yet another person who needed it the most. The heart wrenching story of Mr Deshraj, who is an auto rickshaw driver plying customers from Mumbai's Khar Danda Naka, was shared by the Humans of Bombay and it went viral.
74-year-old Deshraj has been inundated with donations after the HoB post went viral and help started pouring in for him from all quarters. A crowdfunding initiative, that wanted to raise Rs 20 lakh for Deshraj, eventually ended up collecting Rs24 lakh for him and the cheque for the amount was handed over to him.
Deshraj's story went viral when the HoB did a profile for him where he opened up about the cruel blow of fate dealt to him and his family. The sole breadwinner of his family since the deaths of his two sons, Deshraj works to make ends meet and support his wife, daughter-in-law, and his four grandchildren. A few reports also said that in order to pay for his granddaughter's education, he even sold off his house and pay for her education in Delhi.
The Humans of Bombay page, who helped bring Deshraj's tory out to the public also shared the good news to its followers on Instagram, but in the current in trend 'Pawri' style. In a reel video the group shared, Deshraj says, "Ye main hoon, Deshraj; yeh mera auto aur hamari party ho rahi hai". The video also shows him accepting the money in the end.
"The support Deshraj ji has received is immense! Because you all went out of your way to help him, he now has a roof over his head, and will be able to educate his granddaughter! Thank you so much," the page wrote.
Desraj, who has struggled on to keep his four grandchildren's education going, saw a glimmer of happiness when his granddaughter scored 80 percent in her class twelve board exams. After passing the twelfth standard, when his granddaughter expressed the desire to travel to Delhi to do a B.Ed, Desraj didn't deter her ambition, despite not having any financial capacity to facilitate her higher education.
In order to pay for his granddaughter's education, he sold off his Mumbai home and sent his family to live with his relatives in their village.
Desraj had told earlier that he cannot wait for his granddaughter to become a teacher.
Social media users were elated after learning of the immense success of the crowdfunding venture for Desraj.
One user named vinay2271 said, "I love everyone who is behind this page...I love whole team...when I read the story of this dada ji I feel so sad..how I can do help of him...but thanks a lot of everyone who has helped this dadaji."
Another user named frozen_fist said, "So glad to be a part of this! God bless him."
Meanwhile, Desraj still drives his auto everyday and supports his family.
Last year, Delhi's Baba ka Dhaba had become an overnight internet sensation after a food vlogger had shared a heartbreaking video of an elderly couple struggling to make ends meet by running their food stall in the city's Malviya Nagar area during the lockdown. The video went viral and brought much needed support and fame to the 80-year-old dhaba owner Kanta Prasad who even ended up opening a new restaurant with his earnings.