Indian Student In Canada Trolled For Using Food Banks

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Indian Student In Canada Trolled For Using Food Banks

| Updated: April 26, 2024 14:14

Mehul Prajapati is facing a viral backlash after he posted a video revealing that he uses food banks

An Indian data scientist, on a student visa in Canada, Mehul Prajapati, is facing a social media backlash after he put up a video revealing how he used food banks meant for students facing financial difficulties. 

It was pointed out that he earned Canadian dollar 98,000 as salary per year and didn’t need support from food banks. 

Food banks in Canada are run by charities and provide essential food items to people in need. They are typically used by low-income families or students facing financial difficulties.

Prajapati claimed in the video that he saved “hundreds of bucks” each month by using food banks. He got free groceries from food banks on college and university campuses. In the video, he even showed off a week’s worth of food, which included fruits, vegetables, bread, and canned goods that he had obtained from food banks.

His employer, TD Bank in Canada, fired him after his video, which has been deleted, went viral. 

Other side of story

Prajapati claimed to the media that it was racial bias at work against him. He said he wasn’t fired by TD Bank but stopped working there after his internship period. He claimed he had made the video to educate international students in Canada. He said he feared for his safety and had not ventured out of his room for many days. 

The video was originally posted on Instagram. It caught people’s attention after an X user shared it on the microblogging platform and criticised Prajapati. The Instagram account that originally shared the video has been deleted.

The video quickly went viral and was met with harsh criticism. Many people online pointed out that Prajapati’s salary showed he did not have to rely on food banks intended for struggling students.

Massive backlash 

“This guy [Mehul Prajapati] has a job as a bank data scientist for @TD_Canada, a position that averages $98,000 per year, and proudly uploaded this video showing how much “free food” he gets from charity food banks. You don’t hate them enough,” one user posted on X.

A social media user who shared the original video posted an update stating, “Update: the food bank bandit was fired.” The post also included a screenshot of an email from the bank confirming the information.

“Food banks are often walk in. I used to regularly volunteer at my local food bank. People just come in and take what they need when the bank is open. Up until now, shame has been a guardrail for abuse. People won’t come and stand in line unless they genuinely need the help. But some people don’t have any shame,” a user took to X.’ Another user expressed outrage and wrote, “Imagine stealing from a charity meant for those in desperate need.”

A third user questioned, “Isn’t this some form of felony?? Surely it shouldn’t be legal to access food assistance if you are proven to be paid enough to feed yourself?”

Some supporters

However, after Prajapati was fired, he found some sympathisers. “Ah, this is sad. He made a mistake, but what is he going to do now that he’s jobless? He probably needs this work for immigration, too. Rather shame someone than shame + unnecessary job loss,” one user wrote. 

Another supporter pointed out the larger issue of food waste, arguing, “Just because you know what his job is/what his LinkedIn says, doesn’t mean you know his personal situation. Also, there is enough food to go round – just look at how much is wasted every day. A fraction of a restaurant’s waste covers this take tenfold.”

Also Read: Gujarat Media Club Launches Rs One Crore Welfare Fund for Journalists

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