Sonu Sood has been on the receiving end of praise for helping migrant workers during the coronavirus pandemic induced lockdown to go home, and now he has another mission on his hands.
A poor family in the BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh had to sell their cow, a substantial source of income, for just Rs 6,000 to buy a smartphone so that their two children could stay connected with online studies amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
The man — Kuldeep Kumar — belonging to the Scheduled Caste lives in a dingy cowshed at Gummer village in Jwalamukhi tehsil, Kangra district.
His daughter Anu and son Vansh are studying in Class IV and Class II, respectively, in a government school meant to serve the economically weaker section students, who are entitled to free education.
As the schools across the state started online classes in the wake of the pandemic, his children do not have a smartphone or internet connection to keep up with online learning.
“I purchased a smartphone for the children to continue the study,” Kumar, from whom the Right to Education Act holds no relevance, he said.
“I was feeling bad that I could not afford a device for my children so that they could attend online classes.
“So I decided to sell one of my cows for Rs 6,000,” an emotional Kumar said.
He earns his livelihood by selling milk and his wife is a daily-wage earner.
Before parting with the cow, Kumar and his family knocked on banks and private lenders to get a loan to buy a smartphone.
Sonu Sood shared a clip of the story and offered to help get the cows back, and asked for contact details on Twitter.
Indians on Twitter really appreciated him going one step further, from just helping stranded migrants.
An actor alone doing so much for the poor of our coutry imagine how much could have done by our so called millionaire politicians...I salute Sonu Sood Sir to the core of my heart may God give u more health n wealth in return of ur good deeds..❣ Jai Hind Sir 🇮🇳 — Deepa Yadav (@Deepayadav09) July 23, 2020
Bhai humare dil me aapkliye ijjat aur bad gaya hain. — Liberal Slayerr (@liberal_slayerr) July 23, 2020
Ek dil hai kitni baar jeetiyega this dialogue has become very old now but really want to say words can neither qualify nor quantify how nice man you are — Swati Singh 🇮🇳❤ (@swatimehak) July 23, 2020
Love this man.#TrueHero#Respect🙏 https://t.co/OdtvHeB2ga — Ayush Sharma (@heyayushsharma) July 24, 2020
The man now has just a lone cow to support his family.
His struggle now is that the smartphone cannot simultaneously support the education of two children.
He foresees constant fights between them to attend classes.
Kumar is deprived of getting the benefits meant for the poor.
He is entitled to get government privileges meant for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families or under the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP).
“I have applied for financial assistance for the construction of a house and inclusion of my name in the IRDP and the BPL schemes, but failed to get due to red-tapism,” he rued.