Kerala, widely touted as the state with European living standards is slowly emerging as the hotbed of illicit charity activities through online means. Even though the government led by Pinarayi Vijayan is proclaiming the state as a place where healthcare facilities are top-notch, self-proclaimed charity workers are successfully finding patients with chronic illness and are collecting millions to billions from foreign countries without abiding Indian laws.
Firoz Kunnamparambil: The Godfather of charity workers
Online charity became a trend in Kerala after the arrival of Firoz Kunnamparambil in the scene around three years back. Firoz, who hails from Alathur, Palakkad was running a small mobile shop at that time, and he was living in a rented house. At that time, Firoz used to upload videos of people with illness, and donators used to send sums to the respective back account provided by the charity worker.
Soon, Firoz's popularity reached sky high, and he started enjoying celebrity status in society. The most interesting fact is that Firoz is one such charity worker who will not take small cases that demand thousands for treatment. In many of his videos, Firoz has revealed that he will only take big cases that demand 30 lakhs or more for treatment.
This year, Firoz owned a luxurious house, which he says was sponsored by an organization in Saudi Arabia. In several interviews, Firoz revealed that his house was very small, and has a total area of just 800 square feet. However, Firoz himself, later admitted that his house has a total area of more than 2,500 square feet. The self-styled charity worker also owns an Innova Crysta, and he claims that it was sponsored by the Nehdi group of hotels. However, contradicting his views later, Firoz himself claimed that he himself is paying the EMIs of this Innova, which he initially claimed to have sponsored by a third party.
The magic of earning money through inaugurations
As Firoz's lifestyle changed drastically over the past couple of years, skeptics started raising their eyebrows, and they alleged that Firoz is cleverly cheating the donors who sent money to the needy. In order to defend these allegations, Firoz claimed that he is earning Rs 50,000 per day.
"When it comes to Innova car, I just need my two months' remuneration to buy a brand new car like Crysta. I used to get Rs 50,000 for the inaugurations I attend for shops. So just calculate my total revenue in a month. It will be Rs 15 lakhs," said Firoz during an interview with Gold FM.
Even though Firoz himself admitted that he used to earn Rs 15 lakh a month, it is still unclear whether he is paying income tax.
Modus Operandi of charity workers
A few weeks back, a girl named Varsha lodged a complaint against charity workers including Firoz Kunnamparambil and Sajan Kecheri. According to Varsha, Firoz and Sajan had helped her to get money for her mother's liver transplantation surgery, by posting online videos. Surprisingly, she received more than Rs 1 crore from donators.
Varsha alleges that Firoz and Sajan later approached her and asked her to hand over the sum which came in excess to them. As Varsha's case became a big controversy, both Firoz and Sajan revealed that they have asked the remaining sum so that they can distribute it to other needy people.
There are several other reported cases where the agents of these charity workers used to collect commissions from patients.
Sinan Wandoor: Minor charity worker in the making
On Facebook and other social media platforms, there are umpteen numbers of charity workers based in Kerala, and all of them used to collect money by showcasing the pathetic state of patients. Out of this long list, Sinan Wandoor stands out, as he is just a small boy, aged 12.
Sinan Wandoor entered this so-called area of kindness a few months back. However, Sinan is a popular face among Keralites, as he had previously appeared in a video uploaded by Sushant Nilambur, another charity worker. In that video, Sushant can be seen urging everyone to donate for Sinan Wandoor's mother. According to reports, Sinan and his family apparently received a hefty sum for treatment.
Later, Sushant revealed that the family will be using a part of this amount to buy a house, as they are living in a rented property. Even after two years, the family has not bought any house, and they are shifting from one rented house to another.
It was around a few months back that 12-year-old Sinan himself started making charity videos. In his videos, he used to request for hefty amounts, and several innocent donors used to send money without any re-thoughts. As Sinan is collecting money like a professional charity worker, many people allege that the real man behind the acts of the small boy is Sushant Nilambur. It should be also noted that Sinan is just 12-years-old, and he is not legally entitled to open a Facebook account.
✝️☪️?️ ? അസ്ലാമു അലൈക്കും ? നമസ്ക്കാരം ഈ വരുന്ന പോന്നോണത്തിന് ഓണ കിറ്റും പാവപെട്ട ക്വറന്റൈനിൽ കഴിയുന്ന പ്രവാസി കുടുംബങ്ങൾക്കും പ്രയാസം അനുഭവിക്കുന്ന മദ്രസ അദ്ധ്യാപകർക്കും ഭക്ഷണകിറ്റ് കൊടുക്കണം എന്ന് ആഗ്രഹമുണ്ട് അതിന് നിങ്ങൾ എന്റെ കൂടെ നിൽക്കുമോ GOOGLE PAY:6238961505 WHATSAPP:9562404480 FEDERAL BANK WANDOOR NAME.NAFEESA.P IFSC.FDRL0001559 AC.15590100175333Posted by Sinan Wandoor on Sunday, 23 August 2020
Even though people are suspicious about the activities of Sushant and Sinan, they have not publicized the statement of the accounts to which the sums were collected.
Blatant violation of Indian law
Charity workers like Firoz Kunnamparambil and Sushant Nilambur have several times revealed that most of their funds come from abroad. In an interview given to 24 News Malayalam, Firoz claimed to have carried out charity works worth Rs 200 crore.
Shockingly, neither Firoz nor Sushant are collecting funds in the account of charitable trusts, instead, they are asking money to individual accounts. Lawmakers and prominent jurists including Justice Kamal Pasha have revealed that the activities of these charity workers are a blatant violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act.
Kerala government remaining silent
A couple of months back, Shailaja teacher, the honorable health minister of Kerala had warned charity workers, and she promised that strict legal actions will be taken against people who act against the law. However, fans of these charity workers lodged a brutal social media attack on Shailaja teacher's Facebook page, and the investigation was allegedly stalled due to pressure from various corners.