Guwahati: A fake story has once again gone viral on social media. This time the story is about a seven-year-old Manipur girl, Licypriya Kangujam, who has been “selected” to address the United Nations (UN) in the sixth session of Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 2019 to be held from May 13-17 at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
In a new twist to the confusing story, the girl, on Friday, allegedly wrote a post on her now-deleted Facebook profile, saying, “Finally I decided not to attend the program in Geneva next month as I am completely in depression. Even my visa and flight tickets was ready. This is not the way to treat your “Ningol” [daughter]” (sic)
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Referring to Imphal Free Press (IFP), which debunked the story about Licypriya being invited to the UN and her father being a con man, she alleged, “One local paid media in Imphal” has killed her career by spreading lies about her in the name of her father.
The girl went on to share an official United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) website link to show an “invitation-cum-confirmation letter”, signed by Ms Elina Palm, Coordinator, Global Platform, UNISDR. She said that she didn’t share the invitation before because it would expose her conference ID number and signature.
Following this, EastMojo cross-checked the facts relating to Licypriya’s invitation with Stephanie Speck, Chief, Communications, Advocacy, Knowledge Management and ICT, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction where she said, “I can confirm that Licyprya Devi Kangujam is not an official speaker at the Global Platform 2019 in Geneva.”
The alleged highly deceiving link shows a letter in the name of Licypriya Devi Kangujam confirming her registration for the event. On further investigation of the website link provided by Licypriya, several other such confirmation letters were also found. The link too was shared with Speck, the Chief of Communication at UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction, for which no comment was made.
The story about her invitation to UNISDR was first published in Guwahati-based media house, reportedly based on a press release received from International Youth Committee (IYC) claiming that the seven-year-old has been selected to address a session at the UN headquarters in Geneva on May 13-17. However, it was taken down after Imphal Free Press contacted them and raised doubts about the legitimacy of the story.
Imphal Free Press brought to the fore the fact that IYC Chairman Dr Kangujam Kanarjit Singh is the same person who they exposed as a con man.
Kangujam Kanarjit, who is behind the Global Youth Summit and World Youth Summit, is charged of cheating and fraud. The man is also involved in an alleged sham case wherein he allegedly sold same property to multiple people.
Meanwhile, Swapnanil Talukdar, an innovation scholar and President’s Awardee for innovation, who was associated with IYC’s World youth Conference 2016 held in New Delhi as an international speaker, said that Singh had told him that his daughter was invited to Geneva in 2018 where she was the youngest speaker of the event.
The pictures for a similar event from 2018 were found on her now-deleted Facebook profile. But the fact which raised eyebrows is that though her display picture was from 2018, but other pictures were uploaded only on April 22.
The story of Licypriya was picked by several regional as well as national media houses as positive news from the state and the region, but appears to be a farce. Her association with UN on any event in any previous years is under investigation along with the URL she provided.
PS: EastMojo had published her “achievement” story like other media organisations but retracted it after it came to know about the alleged fraud.