Coronavirus-news May 29, 2020
Thanks to TikTok, deaf man in Telangana reunites with family after 2 years!
A 60 year old Telangana man named Roddam Venkateshwarlu had gone missing from his home two years back. The family found him after he featured in a series of TikTok videos after lockdown. Read on to know more about the interesting re-union of the family.
Over the past few months, TikTok has faced a lot of criticisms for allowing posting of insensitive videos mocking people with disabilities. In fact, disability rights activists wanted the Chinese video-sharing app to be served a legal notice for not conforming to disability laws. But in the case of 60 year old Roddam Venkateshwarlu, who has a disability, TikTok has become a blessing. Reportedly, Roddam who has been missing for over two years was spotted through a series of TikTok videos which helped him re-unite with his family back in Telangana. Read on to know more.
Roddam, who is speech and hearing impaired, is originally from Bhadradari Kothagudam in Telangana. He had gone in search of a job two years back, but never returned. His family has been searching for him everywhere. They lodged complaints with police, but soon lost hope as they clearly could not see any positive outcome from it. The family accepted that they lost Roddam.
A few weeks back, one of Roddam’s villagers saw a video on TikTok of a food distribution program during lockdown of which Roddam was also a part. The series of videos featured Roddam along with a few others. Immediately, he alerted Roddam’s family who identified that the video was taken in Punjab. They immediately travelled to Punjab in a car with a pass. They got in touch with the local police and soon found out where Roddam lived. The re-union was beautiful, just like a movie story!
His son Peddiraju has been quoted saying to India.com, “I was so happy to meet my father after such a long time. It was painful to see him begging on the roads, but thank God we finally found him”.
TikTok to the rescue
TikTok in India has faced criticisms many times for their disabled unfriendly videos mocking people from the community. TikTok had even admitted in one of their statements that they had purposely removed videos of their disabled users from feeds. The latest Tiktok ‘Autism Challenge’ and other such videos that mock people with disabilities were also doing rounds on social media. Not just in India, but social media users from across the world asked TikTok to be more sensitive towards feelings of people from the disabled comunity.
Amidst all the negative news about TikTok, the latest re-union of Roddam with his family is something that the makers can definitely cheer about.
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