Tech Xpress

Hoax Email misleads top selling Newspaper

There was this interesting article (pictures and transcript below) that appeared in one of India's top selling english daily, The Times of India.

Food for all
It’s party season and every one is talking about binging at weddings, launches, open houses. But the lesser-known side effect of this food orgy is the amount of food that goes waste. For those who want to spread the cheer a bit, you can call Childline (1098), a remarkable organisation that works with street children.

If you have leftovers, a volunteer will come over and pick up the food—a good way to ensure that you don’t eat that mutton biryani and chocolate mousse for breakfast, lunch and dinner the day after. And some little person who may or may not be living on a railway platform, will send you a whisp of a blessing. NAMITA DEVIDAYAL | TNN

The article published in the Sunday Times (dated 14 January 2007, Page 20) i.e the sunday edition of the Times of India, appeals to readers to generously send the leftover food from parties...etc to Childline (1098), an organization that works for children in need of care and protection.

Moved by the article, I decided to spread the word through this blog. That was before I checked the official Childline website.
To my utter disbelief, a message flashed in front of me:

Caution: We understand there is a chain mail circulating that says - one should call up 1098 to pick up left over food after a party etc so that it is not wasted. We are India's only and most widespread Children's phone outreach service (1098) for children in need of care and protection. We do not pick up food or distribute food. This mail was not initiated by us, kindly do not circulate it.

Apparently, the people concerned here blindly believed the email and did not even bother to confirm with Childline before putting it to print.
Childine India 1098 is a free 24 hour phone service for kids of all ages. This unresponsible and casual act coupled with an overdependency on email will surely put unnecessary burden on the members.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, January 18, 2007