With social media playing a key role, it has become easier to spot talent and go viral. Something similar happened with Pradeep Mehra. The 19-year-old was filmed running from his workplace in Noida Sector 16 to his home in Barola, and his life seems to have made a 360-degree turn overnight. A day after featuring in the video shot by filmmaker Vinod Kapri, the young teen from Almora, Uttarakhand, who works at McDonald’s, found himself all over the news.

As we’ve seen before, a viral clip or content that features those from the lesser-privileged sections of society, is picked up by media organizations in an instant, all in an attempt to boost TRP. Let’s take a look at incidents when media, under the pretense of support, made a mockery out of people’s unfortunate situations:

Baba Ka Dhaba

The 80-year-old man and his wife gained a lot of publicity a few months back. The owner of a small eatery in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar, Kanta Prasad became an internet sensation after a blogger documented his struggles during the pandemic. People immediately joined hands to raise money for him. From constant video bytes to forcing him to do interviews, the media crossed all boundaries. Eventually, Prasad became a subject of laughter, memes, and trolls. 

Ranu Mondal

Another example of the media circus. Ranu Mondal became an overnight star after her rendition of a Lata Mangeshkar song at the Ranaghat station in West Bengal went viral. She was invited for several interviews and conclaves hosted by journalists. However, she disappeared after the pandemic and hasn’t been discussed since.

Sahdev Dirdo

We remember him as the ‘Bachpan Ka Pyar’ kid. A random video made him a superstar. We cannot deny that this young boy is talented and the Indian media went crazy to cover his story. The video was first picked up by singer Badshah, who made a remix of it. Dirdo sang his original version every time someone interviewed him, and while he didn’t seem bothered by it, for those who’ve seen this gimmick before, it was evident that he was being treated poorly.

Pradeep Mehra

The latest addition to the list of people who didn’t ask for media attention but were forced to take it is Pradeep Mehra. He was recently filmed running at night and when asked why he was running, Mehra said he was preparing for the Army. Needless to say, this was portrayed as an inspiring message, when it actually reflects the poor state of our system. Some media channels were audacious enough to invite him and ask him to run in the studio.  

(Featured Image Credits: Instagram)