The mother of 16-year-old Harshit Sharma, the Chandigarh student who took the media by storm with news of a Rs 1.44-crore job from Google, told Hindustan Times today that he was traumatized by his public humiliation — it turned out that the offer was a hoax — and has not eaten anything since Tuesday.
The Department of Public Relations, Chandigarh Administration, had sent out a press release on 29 July claiming Sharma, who completed his Standard XII from the Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS) this year, has been selected for graphic designing by Google.
By Tuesday morning, most online publications reported the story and congratulatory calls poured in for the student. However, a Google representative told The Indian Express that the company did not "have any information on our records with respect to Harshit Sharma's candidacy."
And on Wednesday the government had ordered a probe into the "job offer" that was supposed to pay Sharma a stipend of ₹4 lakh per month, which would be increased to ₹12 lakh a month after he completed his training.
"He went for online interview through video conferencing and was selected on the basis of posters designed by him while doing class 12th under the supervision of his teachers. His achievements will act as a morale booster for other students and they will be inspired to make forays into this field," the press release said.
Bharti Sharma, Harshit's mother, said she warned him that it could be a hoax call. He shared the information with his school principal, who released a press note, and matters escalated.
In the middle of this confusion, however, is the matter of an alleged "offer letter" sent by Harshit to a teacher who forwarded it to the principal. His mother maintains that Harshit did not send the letter.
"Doctors say he is traumatised. Those who were congratulating us are now taunting us," she told the paper. The boy has been hospitalised, HT reported.
BL Sharma, Education Secretary, yesterday said "the official statement issued by the education department was not in my notice. I have asked Director, School Education to look thoroughly into the matter".