South Mumbai's 'Bisleri paani puri wala' dies of COVID-19, locals raise funds for his family

Updated: Jun 25, 2020, 20:12 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Yadav, who was well-known for cleanliness, used to serve pani puri using bottled mineral water, thus earning the nickname 'Bisleri pani puri wala'

Yadav sold lip-smacking pani puris using bottled mineral water
Yadav sold lip-smacking pani puris using bottled mineral water

Shocked and saddened by the death of their beloved 'Bisleri' pani puri wala due to coronavirus, residents of South Mumbai, especially Nepean Sea Road, came together to help his family. The residents joined hands to raise money for his family through a crowd-funding platform. To date, they have managed to raise over Rs 2.7 lakh.

A Twitter user Anjali B took to social media to spread the word. In the tweet, she said that Yadav passed away nearly a month ago due to COVID-19. "He sold pani puris for 46 years & prepared everything at home, hygienically," she wrote while urging people to come forward and help his family.

Nicknamed as 'Bisleri' pani puri wala, Bhagwati Yadav was selling lip-smacking pani puri from the past 46 years at Rungta Lane near the posh Napean Sea Road.

For close to five decades, Yadav travelled from his home at Walkeshwar's Mata Parvati Nagar to Napean Sea Road to serve his customers. The delectable pani puri made him a household name in SoBo.

Yadav, who was well-known for cleanliness, used to serve pani puri using bottled mineral water, thus earning the nickname 'Bisleri pani puri wala'. Yadav passed away due to the deadly COVID-19 and is survived by his wife and daughter. After the residents found out about his death, they started a fundraising drive with an aim to raise Rs 5 lakh for his family.

A statement on the crowdfunding platform reads, "For 46 years, Yadavji always put our health first by serving "Bisleri" pani-puri. And his generosity knew no bounds as he would never shy away from handing out "Ek extra puri."

Yadav-Ketto
A screengrab of the crowdfunding page shows the amount raised so far

While speaking to IANS, Girish Agarwal, who launched the crowd-funding said, "He was very popular in the area. We have all been savouring his pani-puris and other snacks for years." Over 40 people from Indian and abroad have donated generously for Yadav's family.

Many took to Twitter to remember their favourite snack go-to guy.

Here's how netizens paid tributes to Yadav:

You can donate for Bhagwati Yadav's family on this link: SoBo's Bisleri Panipuriwala

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