A photo of a young girl pulling Kolkata’s iconic hand-pulled rickshaw has gone viral after Tamil Nadu Congress leader J Aslam Basha shared a tweet with a misleading caption which received more than 4,000 likes. The tweet claimed that the girl who was pulling the rickshaw was an IAS topper who was introducing her rickshaw-puller father to the world, as reported in The Print. However, the reality is far from the truth which was revealed by the girl herself in the picture on her Instagram post. Real Story Behind Viral Photo of Crying School Girl-Grandmother at an Old Age Home Unfolds; Watch Video.
The photo was taken by Instagram user Shramona Poddar and posted in April this year. After J Aslam Basha tweeted the photo, Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP, Shashi Tharoor also retweeted the same image. J Aslam Basha tweeted the picture with the caption: “IAS topper, introducing her father to people. Grand salute to her and her father..”
Viral Photo of a Young Girl Pulling the Hand Rickshaw in Kolkata
IAS topper, introducing her father to people. Grand salute to her and her father..
PC: Sanjay Singh pic.twitter.com/XRRfTrw1Qj
— Dr. J Aslam Basha (@JAslamBasha) October 4, 2018
Since the photo went viral, Shramona started receiving a lot of calls from people and media. To put an end to this and to tell the truth behind the picture, Shramona shared a post on Facebook that clearly explains that the viral photo has caused her unrequired stress.
Sharmona's Facebook Post
The said image of Shramona was posted by outdoor adventure products company Wildcraft India as part of a marketing campaign. Poddar reposted the image on her Instagram page. She also cleared in the Facebook post that the post was in collaboration with Wildcraft but they had no input in the creative.
The Truth Behind the Viral Photo
View this post on Instagram
Repost from @wildcraftin So here goes the story behind this. Since childhood, whenever I used to visit the north and central part of Calcutta essentially, I would feel sympathetic everytime I would spot a hand pulled rickshaw, thereby choosing not to use them. Until recently when my sympathy coincided with the realization that we're helping to earn their bread and butter only when we're taking a ride. So last time I was in Calcutta, the #wildcraftwildling in me decided to pull a handpull rickshaw instead, to see how difficult and strenuous it really is. I asked the rickshaw uncle to have a seat while I pulled him around on the streets of Shobhabazar, tickling the bell at intervals while the whole street stood and watched in awe. I realized though there's a lot of mechanism involved, it wasn't a piece of cake at all. All my years of inquistiveness transpired to salutation for the extreme precision and relentless efforts that go in during each trip made. Yet each day they wake up with the same enthusiasm to battle the odds. This spirit is what inspires me to be #ReadyforAnything. #GoStreet #kolkata #calcutta #calcuttacacaphony #travel #handpullrickshaw #wildcraft #adventure #kolkatatourism #MishtiAndMeatftWildcraft Photo by @bhaskar_0007
She clears it in her post that the man sitting on the rickshaw is not her father as she refers to him as uncle. Her post further explains her perception towards rickshaw pullers. From sympathising with them to understanding the precision and effort that goes behind picking up a hand rickshaw. After the truth was revealed, Shashi Tharoor tweeted that he also mistook the image and apologised on Twitter.
Sorry folks, i was taken in too! This pic is not what it was purported to be: https://t.co/dHR7Uy9AG6
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 6, 2018
Boom Live reached out to Poddar who confirmed that she is a travel blogger and not an IAS topper. She said, “It was taken a few months ago and it went viral at that time too but not something bizarre like this.” Well, it is important for people of prestige to verify the matter before they share, post or write anything about it. It is not only misleading but can affect a person in a negative way.