Kochi Metro Rail has publicly stepped in to defend a speech and hearing-impaired man who was the target of online abuse when he mistaken as a drunkard online.
Kochi Metro has shut down internet trolls who mistook a speech and hearing-impaired man lying down on a Kochi metro train as a ‘drunkard,’ by gifting the man with a free metro pass.
On a message posted on the company’s Facebook Page, Kochi Metro Rail LTD stated the following;
“KMRL wants to acknowledge Eldo, who was subjected to ridicule because of people’s preconceived notions. People jumped to conclusion that he was a drunk man, but instead he is a speech and hearing- impaired person.”
അപകീർത്തികരമായ പരാമർശത്തോടെയാണ് സമൂഹ മാധ്യമങ്ങളിൽ എൽദോയുടെ ചിത്രം പ്രചരിച്ചത്. ബധിരനും മൂകനുമായ എൽദോ ക്ഷീണം മൂലം മെട്…
Posted by Kochi Metro Rail on Friday, June 30, 2017
Eldo was given a free metro pass worth Rs 2000 by KMRL.
Angamaly native Eldo was unfairly given the name “Kerala’s Paambu” when one person took a picture of him lying down and resting on Kerala’s first metro train after becoming ‘tired and upset’ over his brother’s admittance to hospital.
The photo was uploaded online where it attracted a lot of criticism with Eldo being wrongfully accused of being drunk and disorderly and disrespecting the newly inaugurated metro line.
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After the matter came to light, the family approached the media to correct the online mistake.
Eldo’s son Basil was reported by The News Minute as saying, “My father, mother and I went to the General Hospital in Ernakulam to meet his brother who was admitted. I told father that we should ride in the Metro for the return journey since it was new.” It was then that Basil revealed his father’s upset at the ordeal which resulted in him taking rest on the metro train.
The story highlights the damage that mistaken or false claims made in public forums online can have. India has a growing problem of ‘fake news,’ or misinformation that people fall for online. With social media increasingly becoming people’s ‘go-to outlet’ for news, the country is facing a digitally-induced issue. In the face of such, there is a real need for clarity and correction of false allegations or mistaken information posted online, and KMRL have shown the nation just how it can be done right.