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Mall shooes away man seeking funds for cyclone

Odisha native claims ‘bouncers’ also didn’t allow him in; later, a few claimed he was once nerve-racking ‘elite shoppers’. Phoenix Market City denies evicting him from pavement

Even because the collective national awareness is concentrated on the devastation wrought by means of Cyclone Fani in several states off the Bay of Bengal, an attempt to carry price range for the ones affected by this calamity met with a surprising controversy in the city this weekend.

An Odisha native, who works with a multinational company in Pune at this time, claims to have had a slightly disheartening enjoy, after he was once ousted from the popular Phoenix Market City mall on Nagar Road while looking to carry price range on a person foundation for other folks in his flood-hit state.

Further to this, 31-year-old Sofen Kumar Jena alleges that he was once now not only informed to leave the premises, but was once also chivvied off the footpath in entrance of it by means of a workforce claiming to be ‘bouncers’ for the mall.

Mirror reconstructed Saturday night time’s incident on Sunday afternoon, and found that Jena — in his marketing campaign get-up — was once all over again informed to leave the walkway in entrance of the mall by means of a security workforce member

Jena hails from Bhubaneshwar and is living at Wadgaonsheri in this day and age. Having completed his PhD from Kolkata, he did his post-doctoral studies on the University of Kentucky, USA. After a herbal crisis that hit Texas all the way through his stint there, Jena learnt via reports that shops in the region had been being used as venues for fundraisers, and garnering a considerable reaction thanks to the footfalls.

Taking a cue from this tactic, Jena took out an independent marketing campaign on Saturday night, hoping to do his bit for the cycloneaffected. His own residence in the capital city of Odisha has already been opened as a reduction centre for other households, at the same time as its denizens suffer from a snapped phone connection and disrupted energy supply for the final 4 days.

“Around 5.30 pm, I headed to Phoenix Market City for my lone endeavour. My roommate had painted the map of Odisha on my face, and I had a placard and material bag with me. As soon as I entered the mall, I was stopped by means of security staff, who knowledgeable me that I have to acquire permission for any type of marketing campaign,” the mechanical engineer narrated, adding, “A senior professional got here out and informed me that this was once a industry centre, ‘now not a spot for charity’. He stated I would have to find an NGO, coordinate with it, and then approach their head workplace if I sought after to boost price range. I evenly spoke back that I don’t have time for this lengthy process — on listening to this, I was escorted out by means of 4 bouncers. So, I got here out directly to the Nagar Road footpath in entrance of the mall.”

But as Jena stood on the pavement, two of the bouncers allegedly got here out all over again, as instructed him to go to the railway station or bus stand for such fundraising workout routines.

“They obviously stated that I was nerve-racking their ‘elite shoppers’. I informed them that I am standing on a public footpath and asked them to call the police if they'd any factor. They launched a verbal spat with me, and also referred to as a few local drivers standing around there. Together, all of them stressed me to go away. Since my goal was once fundraising and now not creating a ruckus, I moved on,” stated Jena.

Not completely discouraged, the citizen activist persevered his little campaign outside distinguished eating places around Viman Nagar until 11.30 pm, and says he were given a good reaction. “People had been cooperative and I managed to boost nearly Rs 6,500 to be transferred to the Odisha Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Even vada pav stall homeowners and impoverished individuals contributed. Some donators gave me recommendations on easy methods to get more of a reaction while elevating price range,” shared Jena.

To test on his allegations, Mirror reconstructed the incident on Sunday afternoon on the similar spot — as Jena waited on the footpath outside Phoenix Market City around 3 pm in the similar get-up he had put on the previous night, he was once approached by means of a girl in black. She began to shoo him off the footpath, claiming it also “belongs to the mall”. When she was once asked for her credentials, a man in a security guard’s uniform, wielding a megaphone and asking automobiles to transport away from the entrance, knowledgeable that she is a bouncer as neatly.

As we moved away, Jena rued, “Rebuilding the affected region goes to want numerous lend a hand. There is all the time the heightened possibility of epidemics after such disasters, and much loss of existence and assets. Today, Odisha is affected —tomorrow, it may well be your own home.”

When quizzed about this incident, Phoenix Market City officials denied the use of bouncers to transport Jena away from the footpath. They stated they didn't entertain the man inside the mall as he had now not adopted due procedures to confirm his authenticity.

“We stand with the folks of Odisha. We have extended lend a hand to these affected by calamities previously, too, but via correct and authorised channels. This man was once carrying a placard inside the premises. We have our personal decorum to maintain. Our professional courteously asked him whether he was once associated with any NGO and asked him to return to us via the appropriate channels,” stated Arun Arora, centre director at Phoenix Market City.

He added, “We shouldn't have any bouncer — only security staff. None of them asked a man to transport off the footpath, and I suppose they have no authority to do this anyway. As a long way as the security guard on the pavement outside the mall with a megaphone is concerned, he works below the site visitors police.”

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