New Delhi: The heartbreaking story of 80-year old Kanta Prasad and his wife made thousands of people throng to his Dhaba last year. The overnight success of Baba Ka Dhaba also gave impetus to several such stories into the limelight. However, a year later, Kanta Prasad and his wife Badaami Devi’s lives have come to a full circle and they are now sadly, back to the old Dhaba after their restaurant in south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar wasn’t successful.
Notably, after his plight went viral, a lot of people donated funds to him with which he was able to open a new restaurant in December 2020 and settle all his debts. On the advice of Tushant Adlakha, a social worker, the 80-year-old opened the restaurant at a rented accommodation and invested Rs 5 lakh into it. The launch was initially a success but as the frenzy died down, customers started disappearing slowly and Prasad had to shut it down.
He told national daily, “The average monthly sales never crossed ₹40,000. I had to bear all the losses. In hindsight, I feel we were wrongly advised to open a new restaurant. Of the total investment of ₹5 lakh, we managed to recover only ₹36,000 from the sale of chairs, utensils, and cooking machines, after the restaurant shut down.”
Blaming Adladka, he added, “Essentially it was he (Adlakha) and his team who managed and supervised everything, including the investment and sales. He said he would make it a success, but he never gave enough time for the restaurant.” However, Adlakha has denied the allegations and blamed Prasad and his two sons for the new restaurant’s failure.
The couple has now been forced to return to their roadside stall and just like last year, they are still struggling to make ends meet especially in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Kanta Prasad told Hindustan Times, “The daily footfalls at our Dhaba have declined because of the ongoing Covid lockdown, and our daily sales have come down from ₹3,500 before the lockdown to ₹1,000 now. The income is not sufficient for our family of eight.”
Last year, their story went viral after food blogger Gaurav Wasan visited Baba Ka Dhaba and posted a clip of it on his Instagram account. In the short video, Kanta Prasad broke down in tears as he narrated his plight of the difficulties that he faced while running the eatery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.