The Midnight Runner: A Day in the Life of Viral Boy Pradeep Mehra
Swarmed by cameras all around, viral boy Pradeep Mehra couldn't run for days.
Ever since a video of his midnight run went viral, 19-year-old Pradeep Mehra has barely been able to work or train – thanks to the bevy of mediapersons and YouTubers who have been swarming his rented one-room apartment in Noida.
But Mehra would probably not have been running the streets of Noida after his shift, had his mother not fallen ill. Prior to his arrival in the "area of excellence", the 19-year-old was training at his native village in Uttarakhand's Almora district.
His elder brother Pankaj, 21, had moved out to Noida a couple of years back, where he took up small jobs. But when their mother fell ill and required expensive medical attention in the city, Pankaj asked Pradeep to join him at McDonald's. Together, the brothers earn about Rs 20,000 per month.
Since Pradeep could no longer run in the mornings – as he would in Uttarakhand – he was forced run home after completing his nearly 10-hour shift.
Help Pours In
Pradeep's phone hasn't stopped ringing ever since he went viral, and he has received multiple offers from camps that train youngsters for the Indian Army.
So far, Pradeep has received Rs 3,50,000 as financial assistance from well-wishers. Meanwhile, the Noida administration has pledged to help with his mother's treatment at a hospital under its jurisdiction, while also promising to provide the 19-year-old with guidance.
Aware that the fame and stardom from his viral status is only temporary, Pradeep hopes to join back at work once the dust settles and train the same way he used to before.
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