The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about many good Samaritans to the fore – helping people by going all out of their way. Certain organisations, however, have begun prying on the misery of people to further their profits and engage in unprecedented PR campaigns. People who are questioning such NGOs and groups are being targeted, threatened and abused. Take, for instance, Yuvraj Pokharna – an activist who used his democratic right to free speech to question Hemkunt Foundation – an NGO which has earned praise for its service for Covid-19 infected patients.
A few days ago, Yuvraj Pokharna had questioned Hemkunt Foundation over the authenticity of their relief work to Covid-19 infected patients. Pokharna claimed that the number provided by the foundation was unresponsive and that messages sent to the NGO on the provided WhatsApp number were not being viewed and replied to. He further claimed that Hemkunt Foundation has been spending extravagantly on PR campaigns, and has collected crores in donations without the money being accounted for. He challenged the NGO, posting a video on his Instagram account to conduct a press conference and make all their financial accounts public.
However, Yuvraj Pokharna was soon bombarded with mountain loads of threats, abuses and slangs by purported supporters of Hemkunt Foundation – who are simply unwilling to accept that the NGO might be at fault. The choicest of slangs were hurled at Pokharna for simply questioning the foundation, while notorious individuals also leaked the man’s number on social media. In a threat video, one Vicky Thomas, without naming Pokhrana, called the activist a ‘neech aadmi’. Vicky Thomas declared that he would arrive outside Pokharna’s house very soon.
Hemkunt Foundation is known to be supporting the protesting farmers on the borders of Delhi in many ways. For that, they have earned criticism from several quarters. Their Covid-relief work, however, has earned the admiration of many. Yet, that the NGO’s supporters have descended upon a man simply because he chose to ask some questions and make some information regarding the foundation public is indeed condemnable. Not to mention, such behaviour will only exacerbate the apprehensions regarding the NGO.
It is not a crime for any Indian citizen to demand transparency and accountability from any entity within India, especially NGOs. For asking questions, if a person is hounded with the choicest of abuses and threatened, then such behaviour most definitely raises eyebrows of many.
The Covid-19 crisis of India has given the opportunity to many noble and selfless organisations to step up and serve humanity. They are working day and night to ensure that the lives of ordinary Indian citizens are made less miserable. What the second wave of the pandemic has also given rise to, however, are fraudulent organisations and thug-like NGOs who are prying upon ordinary people and scamming them in the name of Covid relief work. Citizens must ensure that they are able to differentiate between the good from the bad.