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Delhi sewer victim’s parents claim he was never married, son in viral picture not his son: ABP News

In a shocking revelation by ABP News, the viral image of the young boy standing next to the dead body of the Delhi sewer worker who died due to asphyxiation last week, may not be of his son. The woman posing as his ‘wife’ Rani, may also not be his wife, claims ABP News. She is, in fact, his maternal aunt and the young boy is one of her sons from her estranged husband, said parents of Anil.

Viral image that managed to raise about Rs. 50 lakh

As reported by ABP News, Anil’s parents have said that the woman who has been posing as Anil’s wife is actually his mausi (aunt) and are upset about not having clarified with them. They have accused her of putting up the drama for getting the money. Yesterday, the ‘wife’ Rani had also thanked people for raising funds for her and her three children over social media.

As of now, Rs. 50 lakh (and counting) have been raised over social media for the ‘wife and children’ of Anil, who, according to ABP News report, may not even exist.

It all started when a journalist with Hindustan Times, Shiv Sunny, tweeted the heartbreaking image of the child next to the dead body of Anil on 17th September.

In his tweet, he had claimed that the family did not even have money to cremate him. With over 17,000 retweets, the image touched a chord in the hearts of netizens and help poured in from across the globe. Soon, bank account details of Rani, the ‘wife’, was put out and even a Ketto, the crowdsourcing website, was set up.

Ketto account set up for the ‘wife’ and ‘children’ of Anil

Bank details of the ‘wife’

Through Ketto alone, Rs. 27 lakh were raised.

The reporter who had originally tweeted the picture had quoted the ‘son’ who had recounted his experience of having accompanied his father to the sewer.

On Monday, the boy recounted how he would often accompany his father to work, but hadn’t yet entered a sewer. “My father would enter the sewer in his underpants and I would wait outside guarding his clothes and shoes from thieves. My father would say it still wasn’t yet time for me to enter the sewers,” he said.

On days he stayed back home, he would eagerly wait for his father to return. “My sisters are too young to play with me. My mother is always busy with work. My father would take me out to the street to play with me. Sometimes I would fight with him, but he wouldn’t get angry,” said the boy.

The Delhi government, too, had pledged Rs. 10 lakh to the family.

However, as per ABP News’ revelation that Anil was actually unmarried, but some neighbours said that he lived with his aunt. Anil’s parents are upset because no one from the media bothered to clarify with them and the money will now to go the beneficiary, who according to them, is not deserving.

Update: Uday Foundation, the NGO which helped crowdfund almost Rs. 27 lakh through Ketto for the family of the deceased sewer worker has released a statement that the funds will be transferred once thorough verification is done.

Along with @shivsunny and Ketto, we’re looking into the news report and will share an update soon. No funds have been transferred uptil now and the funds raised will only be transferred to the beneficiary (the boy in the picture) following a thorough checking of the facts and completion of the verification procedure.
– Uday Foundation

We will update the story as we get more information.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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