A dramatic photograph of a young girl pulling Kolkata’s iconic hand-pulled rickshaw as its old rickshaw puller takes a backseat (literally), is being shared online as an IAS topper introducing her father to the world.
The image is being shared online with text that reads, “IAS topper, introducing her father to people.” But BOOM found that the narrative ascribed to the photo is incorrect. (IAS stands for Indian Administrative Service)
Indian National Congress’s (INC) J Aslam Basha tweeted the photo. His tweet got over 2,600 Likes. It was also retweeted by Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP, Shashi Tharoor.
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
The photograph was taken by Instagram user Shramona Poddar and posted in April this year. The description of the photograph is clear that the rickshaw puller is not related to the girl. Her post explains her gradual shift in perception towards rickshaw pullers – from sympathy to appreciation of the sheer physicality and precision required to operate a hand-pulled rickshaw. The post has received close to 14,000 Likes.
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
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BOOM reached out to Poddar who confirmed that she is a travel blogger and not an IAS topper. “It (the photo) was taken a few months ago and it went viral at that time too but not something bizarre like this,” travel blogger Shramona Poddar told BOOM. Poddar also explained that while the photo was shot by a photographer it is not part of an ad campaign.