In what can be considered an unfortunate turn of events, three restaurants in Delhi were threatened online and voted down on ratings after they distributed food to Rohingya refugees on the occasion of Navratri who have been staying at Jasola, a report in TOI said.
What would usually be considered a good deed during the unprecedented times of coronavirus, has borne the brunt of social media trolling, owner of two restaurants Josh The High Energy Bar and the Marketplace Shivam Sehgal (25) said.
Sehgal said that the festivals serve as opportunities for them to help those in need and spread some cheer and joy for those enduring hardships.
“We often collaborate with different NGOs to give back to the society at large. This time too, we went there with good intentions of distributing food to those in need,” he was quoted by a news outlet as saying.
News agency ANI had tweeted about Sehgal serving food through his restaurants. “Delhi: Restaurant owners distribute food amongst Rohingya refugees in navaratras.”
Delhi: Restaurant owners distribute food amongst Rohingya refugees in navaratras
"Food doesn't have any religion. It's for everyone. That is the reason why we're giving it to those in need. People bless us the same way they would, members of their own community," says one owner pic.twitter.com/RnuT77Uhj7
— ANI (@ANI) October 21, 2020
Soon after the tweet was posted, most of the comments under the tweet lashed out at the restaurant for selective charity and even asked for a boycott of the restaurants for the same “providing food to Rohingya Muslims.”
Food doesn't have any religion & should be made available for everyone. But it should not end up feeding own enemies who would not hesitate to cut the throat after eating the food provided. Better to be alert & vigilant, even in charity.
— Raju (@nbrengaraju) October 21, 2020
Name of the restaurant please. Need to ensure that I or my family never visits there.
Food has no religion or ethnicity so distribute among needy, Poors and people on the street. No need to run a propoganda while distributing specifically to Rohingya's.
— Ankur Tripathi (@Ankur9005) October 21, 2020
I am not against helping rohingya refugees, but have these people ever helped kashmiri pandits who have taken refuge in many parts of our country?
— Atmakuri Asish (@AsishAtmakuri) October 21, 2020
Sehgal said he even got calls on the restaurant phone number asking me why they opted to give food to illegal immigrants.They also reportedly started negatively rating them on food delivery appss.
The third restaurant which faced backlash for proving food was ‘Swagath’.
“Food doesn’t have any religion. It’s for everyone. That is the reason why we’re giving it to those in need. People bless us the same way they would, members of their own community,” Sehgal was quoted by ANI.
The owner lamented that what was supposed to be something as a good deed ended up being trolled and has caused great damage to their business.
Sehgal later said that despite the backlash, he will try to take up the initiative in the future again by avoiding the social media glare.