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Baba Sham-Dev?

Updated on: 15 October,2009 07:27 AM IST  | 
Bipin Kumar Singh |

Yoga guru Ramdev's stance on zero corruption is a farce, as he chooses to keep mum on alleged con man in his employ, say complainants

Baba Sham-Dev?


Yoga guru Ramdev's stance on zero corruption is a farce, as he chooses to keep mum on alleged con man in his employ, say complainants

On March 31, 2009, iconic yoga guru Baba Ramdev slammed the government for being soft on netas, who hoarded money in Swiss bank accounts.

In fact, Ramdev has always projected himself and his organisation to be squeaky clean and free from any charges of corruption.

It is therefore ironical, that among Ramdev's employees isu00a0 a man who has allegedly swindled a Trust he used to work with earlier, of Rs 6 lakh.

And more irony the man, Rajiv Dixhit, says he works for Ramdev's anti-corruption organisation, the Bharat Swabhiman Trust in Haridwar.



Flashback

In December 2004, five donors from Dubai and Oman, handed Dixhit, who worked for a social upliftment organisation called Bharat Peetham, cheques totalling Rs 6 lakh for the purchase of charkhas for villagers in Varud village of Wardha.

MiD DAY has copies of the receipts given by the trust to the donors. Incidentally, Mahatma Gandhi had set up an ashram in Wardha in 1934, which still exists.

However, trustees of Bharat Peetham said that though they had received the donation of Rs 6 lakh, the money had never been spent on charkhas.

Theyu00a0 alleged that Dixhit had misappropriated the funds. Said Sanjeev Jha, senior committee member of Bharat Peetham, "Charkhas donated by another organisation were distributed in the village.

But Dixhit in his letter to Ajay Jain (one of the Dubai-based donors) said those charkhas had been funded by the Dubai donors, which is a lie."

The matter came to light when Jain, called Bharat Peetham in June 2005 and asked whether the charkhas had been bought.u00a0

"Dixhit said he had bought the charkhas, but later changed his stance saying the money had been used for the tsunami victims and then for construction of buildings," said Jain.

"We are extremely upset that the funds meant for the poor were misappropriated. I have also lost face with the other donors, as they contributed at my behest," he added.

Over the next three years, says Jain, Dixhit fobbed off enquiries on the donations and in 2008, Jain and Dixhit met up in India. The latteru00a0 admitted he had lied and had never delivered the charkhas.

Joins Ramdev

The same year, Dixhit joined Ramdev's Bharat Swabhiman Trust. Consequently, both the trustees and the donors shot of three complaint letters to Ramdev, asking him to address the issue.

Copies of the letters are available with this paper.

Said Jain, "Baba Ramdev is aware about the matter as a meeting had been called at his ashram on March 11, 2009.

Ramdev was present with the trustees, but nothing came of the meeting. I was also invited for the meeting, but could not make it."

Added Abhimanyu Giri, another donor from Dubai, "Many letters have been sent to Ramdev on the issue, but he hasn't dealt with Dixhit."

Rs 1.47 cr
Cost of the Scottish isle Baba Ramdev bought to set up a wellness retreat

The Other Side

Dixhit, who is in Haridwar at Ramdev's Ashram, maintained that all the allegations levied against him are baseless.
u00a0
"I used the funds for constructing the Bharat Peetham building in Wardha with the prior information of all the donors, except Abhimanyu Giri.

He did not want the funds to be used for the building. All the charkhas were purchased from the funds and distributed to the villagers.

I am the secretary of the Bharat Swabhiman Trust and a reply was given to the donors by Baba Ramdev in the meeting at the Haridwar ashram six months ago."

Tejarwala, a spokesperson of Baba Ramdev, said, "Yes, Dixhit is certainly part of our organisation, but he is not a secretary. He is a karyakarta, like the thousand others who work for Baba Ramdev."

Baba in the News

July 2009: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has approached the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court judgment legalising gay sex among the consenting adults.

August 2007: Subodh Gupta, a corporate yoga trainer based in London, challenged Baba Ramdev for giving misleading statement or remaining silent on misleading news regarding weight loss achieved through his yoga.
u00a0
Ramdev claimed that one can lose weight with yoga at a yoga camp in US.

January 2006: CPI (M) leader u00a0Brinda Karat had alleged that human bone powder and animal parts were used in Ayurvedic medicines manufactured by Ramdev's pharmacy.

Who is Baba Ramdev?

Baba Ramdev is known for his efforts in popularising yoga. He is also the founder of Patanjali Yogpeeth at Haridwar, said to be the biggest yoga centre in the world.

The Bharat Swabhiman Andolan, the umbrella organisation for the Trust was set up to eradicate corruption in India and restore prosperity.






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