Alert commuters helped the railway police nab two conmen last week, who were collecting donations for a three-year-old cancer patient who was in no need of financial aid.
Everyday, many of us come across individuals who ask for donations for the treatment of terminally ill patients. Unfortunately, those who end up donating, often end up doing so without properly checking or verifying if the person collecting the money is even authorized to do so. Moreover, donors seldom know if the money they donated even reached the intended recipient.
But the scale of the ‘fake donation’ scam is so big that over 40 complaints have been filed with the railway police this year itself.
However, two alert citizens, who had read about the fake donation scams ‘acted’ when they were confronted by conmen. The citizens, Nitin Jadhav (38) and Jitendra Deshmukh (45), were onboard a CST-bound local on August 12 when they were approached by two men claiming to be from an NGO named Ummeed Foundation.
The do-gooders, Nitu Bhagat and Premkumar Bhagat, said that they were collecting money for the treatment of three-year-old Safruddin Sheikh, who was being treated for blood cancer at Tata Memorial Hospital.
Suspicious of their intentions, the citizens started questioning the NGO workers about the patient and asked if they could visit him. The workers realized that their game was up and alighted the train, but they were caught by the Jadhav and Deshmukh and taken to Tata Memorial Hospital.
A visit to the hospital and preliminary investigation revealed:
# The patient’s family had never received a single rupee from Ummeed Foundation.
# Another NGO was bearing the expenses of the patient’s treatment.
# The certificate being carried by Nitu and Premkumar were fake.
# An Ummeed NGO worker had contacted the patient’s father and assured him of help a few months back.
# The NGO worker had also taken a copy of the requisite documents.
Bhoiwada police are currently trying to ascertain if the NGO is indeed registered in Haryana. One of the accused, Nitu, also claims that he was not aware of any scam.
The Public Relations head at Tata Memorial Hospital also told a leading daily that such cases are common where ‘fake’ NGOs come forth to assure patient’s family of financial aid and collect his documents. But, seldom does any money reach the patient.
Meanwhile, during questioning, the accused also gave police the details of ten more individuals who would collect donations with a similar certificate. The dozen members have reportedly collected over Rs 10 lakh till date, but none of it has reached the patient.Back to latest news