On September 19, photographer Ashutosh Tripathi of Dainik Bhaskar shared a story on Facebook of how Inspector Pradeep Kumar allegedly used force to remove street vendors from outside the Lucknow General Post Office.
Among the vendors was 65-year-old Kishan Kumar, who has been working as a Hindi typist in the area for over 35 years, earning just about ₹50 a day.
The photos show the cop kicking and throwing Kumar's typewriter to the ground...
Even as the elderly man pleads to save his only source of income.
According to the report, Inspector Kumar didn't stop despite reporters in the area gathering to document the incident.
Tripathi's Facebook post went viral as soon as it was uploaded, with over 19,000 shares within a few hours.
The story was then shared on Twitter by lyricist and stand-up comedian Varun Grover, who also asked for help to locate the typist.
Grover's tweet got almost 2,000 RTs and Kumar was tracked down within the hour.
The story kept getting shared and a number of people stepped forward to offer assistance any way they could.
Fundraising pages were organised and there were many offers of financial and job assistance for Kumar.
Eventually, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's Office took notice and took appropriate action, including the suspension of the policeman responsible.
And within six hours of the story being uploaded on the internet, the district magistrate and senior superintendent of police met Kumar at his residence to hand him a brand new typewriter.
When asked about the response to his tweets and the story, Varun Grover told BuzzFeed India, "Twitter is amazing with issues that have a strong human connect. And having such heartbreaking photos of the incident just aided the quick response."
"Also, the fact that it was a typewriter (a most romantic thing for most of the educated class on Twitter)," he added. "Most overwhelming was the offer by so many people to contribute. It's amazing the speed with which it happens here."
Never change, internet.
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