Baba Ka Dhaba: How Delhi showers its love on an 80-year-old in distress

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#BabaKaDhaba and #SupportLocal started trending overnight when a Delhi-based food blogger uploaded a video on social media. In the video, he interacts with the eighty-year-old Kanta Prasad and his wife Badaami Devi, who own the eatery Baba Ka Dhaba. It shows Prasad wiping his tears as he describes some of his home-cooked meals and how the pandemic had hit his business. Located in Malviya Nagar, the roadside eatery was thronged by an overwhelming crowd on Thursday, 8th October 2020, courtesy of the video.  But nevertheless, Prasad – like an experienced businessman – was ready with a batch of 2kg paneer instead of the regular 1kg to serve the massive crowd at noon.

Baba Ka Dhaba: How Delhi showers its love on an 80-year-old in distress

“It feels like the whole of India is with us,” Prasad said to a news agency.

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Prasad and Devi came to Delhi in the 1970s from their village in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district and started with a tea stall near Shaikh Sarai. They then moved to the present location in Malviya Nagar and started the eatery around 30 years ago. On a regular day, they sell 20 plates of each food item between 9 am to 3 pm. This number had dropped to below 5 when they had reopened the shop in June, this year. “We often had to take back food and eat it ourselves or occasionally distribute among neighbours. Today was a blessing,” said Azad Hind, the couple’s son. But on Thursday, they had run out of food at 12.30 pm alone, still leaving a long queue waiting.

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Baba Ka Dhaba: How Delhi showers its love on an 80-year-old in distress

Many people visited Baba Ka Dhaba for food and many more supported them with donations, both in cash and cheque. Many bigshots also showered their love upon the couple, CM Arvind Kejriwal, Sonam Kapoor, R Ashwin, Delhi Capitals and Zomato, being a few of them. “We are very happy with the number of customers that are turning up now. We are grateful for the public support,” said Kanta Prasad. His wife added, “During the lockdown months we could not sell anything. We struggled to survive but today we are flooded with customers. We want to give our blessings to all those who helped us.” 

This may not be the news one would expect to read on the front page of a newspaper. But it was an act of kindness, which is the only thing that matters. Scrolling through social media, reading about the atrocities all around the globe, such neighbourly acts of altruism help restore our faith in humanity. Yes, helping one such couple in a country swarming with poverty is not a solution. But, love is contagious and powerful and we’re living in a pandemic. Every single drop of it can make a difference and go a long way.


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