Kerala’s ravaging floods have shaken the collective conscience of people across the globe with generous individuals and governments from around the world coming forward to donate for the people in distress in the southern Indian state.
But, not everyone has been hailed for their generosity. The Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came under sharp condemnation for allocating just Rs 600 crore towards the rehabilitation of the state that has been ruined by the nature’s fury.
This was after the UAE, a foreign country with considerably large population of expats from Kerala, announced that it was offering Rs 700 crore towards rebuilding of the state. Modi wasn’t the only getting stick from citizens for his lack of generosity towards his own citizens.
Earlier this week, the billionaire founder of Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, became the target of Twitter users after he astonishingly flaunted his donation of just Rs 10,000 for the flood victims.
In his tweet, he wrote, “Just did my Rs 10,000 donation towards #KeralaFlood relief. Go ahead and open your Paytm app to donate now!”
What left people incensed was the fact that despite being a billionaire, Sharma had only donated Rs 10,000. Twitter users were also angry that the businessman had chosen to flaunt his donation in a bid to promote his Paytm app.
Journalist Rajyasree wrote, “So, billionaire Vijay Shekhar makes a 10 grand donation, then posts a screenshot to promote Paytm & himself. Vile & height of being cheap.” Another user, a parody account of Subramanian Swamy, wrote, “Paytm founder @vijayshekhar Sharma, The youngest Indian billionaire with net worth of $1.7 billion did a self promotion by posting a screenshot of him donating a huge amount Rs.10000 via his @Paytm app towards #KeralaFloods. Deleted it later.” Another user Amrish Sawe wrote, “Basically he did an expense of 10,000 to promote his app, will put it under Marketing budget…outright cheap and shameful by Vijay Shekhar.”
Sharma was later forced to delete his tweet in the face of embarrassment being heaped on him. Since he posted the tweet on 17 August, Paytm has managed to raise Rs 30 crore for the flood victims of Kerala.
There were many, who accused Paytm of using the app to gain from the donation money through transaction fees. However, Paytm later clarified that the money donated using its app was exempt from transaction fees.