Sonu Sood : The face of kindness or propaganda of PR stunt?
A report on the claims of Sonu Sood: Are his intentions TRUE?
During the COVID-19 crisis, many stars from the film fraternity, across the country, came forward and did their bit to help. But out of the lot, actor Sonu Sood received the most praise, for his tireless efforts in helping the migrant workers go home. Sonu was seen actively helping migrants reach home by providing them with on-ground assistance. But on the flip side, many came forward and alleged that Sonu Sood's relief work was politically motivated.
Popular for his antagonist roles in superhit films, Sonu has the reputation of being likeable; now, he is being hailed as a hero, for all the relief work he has taken up voluntarily. His team has set up a toll-free number (18001213711) and he looks into requests that come through social media.
“Initially, I spoke to some of the migrants here. They were in tears, and their kids were in not in good condition. I requested some of them to wait for a day or two, stating that I will try to help at my level best,” he recalls.
He contacted friends who could help him reach out to the transport authorities, police officials, and State Governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka, to get the requisite permissions.
“The logistics and paperwork took effort; we obtained clearances and with all medical safety precautions in place, we managed to send 350 migrants to Karnataka. That was the first step.”he recalls.
Since then, buses from Mumbai have plied to Karnataka, and permissions were also obtained for migrants to travel to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Rajasthan.
This was just the beginning where Sonu Sood took the initiative single-handedly, without any support from the government, he had few resources and trustable contacts, who helped him turn his vision and mission from impossible to possible. People started contacting Sonu Sood through his official Twitter handle because of the acts he did during the lockdown. People started placing utmost faith in him. Every time, the actor won millions of hearts with his timely and apt reply to the needy. His intervention saved many and also raised the expectations of the people. No longer was Sonu Sood just a name or an actor, it was synonymous with hope, his noble initiative helped garnered heaps of praises from all section of the society, and, like any other good work, deserves appreciation and recognition.
Recently, a Twitter user claimed that tweets asking Sonu for help, during the lockdown period, have suddenly disappeared from the actor’s social media handle.
Also, the Twitter accounts from which the SOS messages were sent to Sonu have been deleted. After this revelation, netizens have labelled Sonu as the ‘biggest scam of 2020.'
After this message was found circulating in Media, our team decided to make an independent inquiry into some of the claims by the actor. And, we found some really interesting facts, while looking into the matter, during our investigation.
Case 1: Morni Village got New towers because of Sonu Sood: Truth Decoded
A few days back, the Times of India posted an article where Sonu Sood was depicted as a saviour of the children, who were facing difficulty in attending their online classes during the lockdown, and installed a mobile tower to make the children's life easy. This news was quoted by various media houses, and Sonu Sood was again brought into headlines due to the noble work he did, for the children, without any personal motive.
But every tale has a flip side.
En route to Morni Village, our senior correspondent Ashutosh Gupta spotted two mobile network towers that were visible from a fair distance, which made our suspicion stronger towards hue & cry in the social media. On reaching the location, our correspondent had a brief interaction with a resident of the place, who cleared our doubts regarding the news circulating about Morni village. She said that the network is quite good and there is no network issue in the area. ( What was the no-network thing about?)
Youtube Link of the Video: https://youtu.be/zGpaWLdAGck
We also looked for the person on whose house the so-called tower was installed. His name is Shri Charan Singh, our team found that it was not a mobile tower, rather a network booster which is operated on mainline, with no power back up. The area which took social media by storm comprises of 22 houses, with 100 people in total. This village has no access to basic amenities like power throughout the day and road connectivity. Our team travelled 2 kilometres, on foot, down the hills to find reality.
A clip from news daily quoted the same, and "tower" provided by the actor can be seen clearly in the article. Sonu Sood's work is commendable; even the villagers are happy with quick response and timely solution provided by him. But, the news which was circulated by 'Team Sonu Sood', all over the social media, stated that the actor has helped to set up a mobile tower, whereas the ground reality is a completely different story. A mobile tower setup requires lots of permissions from the government agencies, also, the service provider provides power back to ensure smooth functioning of the network. Whereas, a mobile booster doesn't require any such obligations and can be installed without much hassle. The installed booster would have cost, at max, 50,000 rupees to the actor; But, the PR exercise by a dedicated team to ensure proper coverage from all the big media houses, for the good deeds by the actor, would have cost a much heftier amount!
In this snapshot, a user called SK Yakhub is seen pleading Sonu Sood to get him treated, or in other sense to sponsor his treatment. Sonu Sood as always comes to the rescue and promises the patient to do the needful, he further adds that he had a conversation with the Doctor Malhotra who assured the actor that treatment will be taken care off and patient need not worry. At the first glance, we find the actor pious and generous, it gives a strong message of humanity, that his intervention has saved and cured the life of the patient, but, the 'team Sonu Sood' kept a piece of vital information hidden, that treatment in AIIMS is free for the section that is below the poverty line. Also, how can a BPL person, who can hardly afford basic amenities like food and shelter, have access to Twitter, and he also carries a smartphone! One more thing, how can a patient in so much pain, use social media?
I hope team Sonu Sood will clear these doubts which raises eyebrows on his intention, and the credibility of work done by him for the welfare of our people. He is trying to keep people in dark, by his claims, and is raising people's expectations by presenting only one side of the story. This is morally not right on his part.
This is the official notification downloaded from the Press Information Bureau of India, regarding the amenities provided free to BPL families.
Case 3: Acknowledged and Later Deleted
The user SIRAJ Khan says he got his job because of Sonu Sood, but later he denied that he got the job because of the actor's initiative. He just appreciates the actor's work, and surprisingly Sonu Sood endorsed the tweet. Later twitter user deleted the tweet, due to the counters he was facing from other netizens..
On looking further, we found that this account is fake and is being operated by a YouTuber SIRAJ Khan. Kindly go through the below-attached snapshots.
These posts was posted by the user show the same background and ultimately prove our claims right on this part. There are various instances where accounts were created one or two months back and the actor was found acknowledging the users, who were thanking him for his help. Surprisingly, all the tweets were later deleted and the accounts were also deactivated, which raises our eyebrows on the authenticity of the social media campaign run under Actor's name.
"नेकी कर दरिया में डाल"
'Be discreet with your kindness' ACTOR might not agree with this famous proverb because he publicized his good work for the people. Whereas philanthropist people like NEEL PATEL & MANISH MUNDRA never cared for the public attention and helped thousands of the needy people just on a simple tweet without even thinking for a whisker of a second. So the choice for people, who are the Real Heroes, SONU SOOD or Silent Real COVID-Warriors such as NEEL PATEL & MANISH MUNDRA.
This complete and dedicated report, on the Actor's Campaign, wouldn't have been possible without Advocate Ashutosh Dubey, Shakti Swami, and not to forget our senior correspondent Ashutosh Gupta, who took the charge and did the ground reporting right from Village Morni.