The pandemic Coronavirus is a health and an economical disaster for the entire world resulting in death, un-employment and poverty. However, some people could see opportunities or even blessings based on fear and irrational behaviors. Here below is the example of the Pakistani Twitter account, @BarefootRaRa (renamed in @CopingWithCovid), belonging to Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aaalam (Betterbonds shop) promoting parallel medicines and providing false recomforts. This may boost the COVID-19 damages on a distressed population.
Upadate, please note: some links in this article fortunately do not work any more. Some social media took proper actions against this activity they forbid on their platforms.
Before the storm
Since Coronavirus outbreak in China, at the end of January 2020, Pakistan was able to apparently stay safe, during a couple of months, while limiting its relations with its big neighbor. Khunjerab Pass, its high altitude only direct land connection with Beijing territory, remained closed. In contrary with most of other countries which decided to evacuate their nationals, Pakistan chose to keep its 800 national students in Wuhan.
Meanwhile the Pakistani Twitter account @BarefootRaRa (renamed into @CopingWithCovid) was frequently retweeting all available information about COVID_19, the new Coronavirus. Though, it did not bring any new information, it helped to have this account gaining a kind of legitimacy regarding this disease, making it ready for next steps.
Coronavirus a suspicious business opportunity with fatal consequences
On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Pakistan recorded its 21st infected patient. Three of them have been found in Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Territories). Like in numerous other countries, the epidemy will spread leading to new cases and to a growing anxiety. Fear will open business opportunities for unscrupulous people.
The day before, on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Ramla, @BarefootRaRa on Twitter, changed her banner and advertised for her herbal shop:
BetterBonds by Rmala fb.me/betterbonds.shop | instagram.com/betterbonds FEARFUL IN THE TIMES OF #CORONAVIRUS??? BETTERBONDS OFFER SOME RELIEF! Vinegars, and Several Types of Herbal Teas boost #immunity, have proven #antiviral action, grant potency & relief.
Relying on fear to get money from people is questionable. Moreover there is no medicine able to cure the Coronavirus as of today. Then BetterBonds’claim is not fair. Additionally, the activity of the shop is an unauthorized practice of medicine.
The banner has been removed from Twitter while it was reported to moderation. However a video on Facebook Betterbondsshop page still evidences “BetterBonds” of practises illegal medicine & takes financial benefits of the pandemic while proposing false relief for #CORONAVIRUS #COVID19 for people in distress.
What is BetterBonds shop?
The link included in @BarefootRaRa public profile leads to BetterBonds shop Instagram account. Its PUBLIC posts are located in Gilgit-Batilstan (Pakistan Northern Territories), Hunza Valley, Hussaini Bridge. Based on this public information, we have the region, the valley and the very place of BetterBonds shop, advertised by @BarefootRaRa’s Twitter account.
Hussaini Bridge is located on Gulmit village territory, Hunza. If we Google “Betterbonds herbal shop gulmit”. We get an answer with the following link: https://vymaps.com/PK/SHAN-Medicine-Company-467531233398804/
BetterBonds: Natural Products for Joy & Wellbeing
Huseini Suspension Bridge, Gulmit-15700
Coordinate: 33.6963157079, 73.0493617058
Phone: 03425044892 (BetterBonds.love)
Who is behind BetterBonds shop of Hussaini, Hunza, Pakistan?
A search on Facebook with “betterbonds shop” shows posts from Rmala Aalam. The facebook PUBLIC URL from Rmala Aaalam is “BarefootRaRa”, like the Twitter account: https://www.facebook.com/BarefootRaRa.
The PUBLIC profile picture of Rmala Aalam (BarefootRaRa) is about COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
A search on @BarefootRaRa Twitter account shows this woman is not only Rmala Aalam but also Ramla Akhtar.
Changemakers Pakistan Youtube channel shows @BarefootRaRa, aka Rmala Aalam, aka Ramla Akhtar, as she introduced herself at this time, May 2010.
Previous mention of BetterBonds shop unauthorized practice of medicine
On September 2019, a review was already posted on BetterBonds shop Facebook page. “BetterBonds, herbal shop of Gojal — Review of products and services”. It said:
Like many shops involved in natural supplies, this one offers nice products to relax or to enjoy the life. Lavender, sea buckthorn, rosehip tea, dry apricots or apricot jam, mountain honey, etc. are great. Their production should be encouraged locally. I am, myself, an addict of Gojal honey and sea buckthorn juice. But, I think, part of the offer should not be on Facebook.
Because part of the offer is selling medicine from this page. It is dangerous, the person doing so has no qualifications and no medical diplomas. In many countries, it would lead to a mandatory shut down of the business for practising illegal medicine. May be, Facebook does not consider it as false news? May be, it is OK with Pakistan law? I don’t know. However, when I see medical consultations are sold here, when I see that cancer or diabetes packs are sold on this page, I ask the question: “what happens if a client drops his/her normal treatment to rely on Better Bonds «medications» and gets irremediable health damages or die for un-proper care?”
Today we could ask: “What happens if a “patient” relies on Betterbonds shop medicines, dies and/or contaminates additional people with COVID-19?”
Report to authorities
At a time when the World Health Organization declares the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, @BarefootRaRa, aka BetterBonds shop, misleading and dangerous offer must be terminated. It was reported to @DRA_Pakistan (Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan) @MOIPakistan (Pakistan Ministry of Interior) @nhsrcpk (Ministry of National Health Services Pakistan) @TBaltistan (Gilgit-Baltistan Police) and @TwitterSafety on March 11, 2020.
April 2020 update
Charlatan’s Twitter account changes
Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aalam, renamed her Twitter account @BarefootRaRa into @CopingWithCovid
Ramla Akhtar’s main Twitter account which was suspended on February 17, 2020 for impersonation and stalking (see: “How @BarefootRara publicly proved to be the same Twitter user than the suspended @GruaAbuseArkive?“) has been re-activated. It is again the main platform for her forgeries, use of forgeries, conspiracy theories, confusionism, xenophobia and hate speech. It is still and identity theft account. It also advertises for her charlatan’s shop where photos of her products replaced the profile picture of one of her victims.
Covid-19 spreads into Pakistan
“The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on Monday (2020/03/30) bracketed Pakistan among the countries which would be the hardest-hit by the global pandemic of coronavirus, demanding a raft of measures for their relief.
UNCTAD said in a new report that the developing countries – which according to a UN body’s tally number 170 – would need a $2.5 trillion support package this year to face the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
Their economies will take “enormous hit” from high capital outflows, lost export earnings due to falling commodity prices and currency depreciations, with an overall impact likely worse than the 2008 crisis, the report said…”
See, The Express Tribune March 31, 2020: “UN warns Pakistan could be hardest-hit by economic fallout of pandemic”
For the charlatan, coming from a wealthy family, Coronavirus is a “BLESSING”.
Medium is a platform used by Ramla Akhtar for posting her different unusual & self called “spiritual” theories but also for defamation and stalking under her account BlackMoonSoul. One of her articles against a Chapursan family has been removed by the moderators. The same fate happened for two other articles against another victim. Now, the complete account is suspended.
The violation is, once again, the charlatanism of this dangerous user haunted by her destruction and nihilism “spiritual” obsessions. For her, COVID-19 is a BLESSING, as she presented it on Medium. This last article suspended her account.
To understand the charlatan’s vision, it is of interest to recall some of her hallucinated posts were she presents herself as an apocalypse preacher.
See: “Report of a French traveler about the Chapursan Valley, Pakistan” § 1.1.:
“Used frequently in black magic rituals and put in trances by family which used my body as an organ for the occult to do such things as try to find lost objects”.
“I am, a dedicated spiritualist since childhood, had been seeing a vision since 2009”.“My esoteric missions are completely unknown to people around me”.
“Like I am on fucking FIRE because I KNOW most of us are marked for death”.
“I tell you why I am not a “good woman” who “makes peace”. I did not come to this world for passing my time and to make peace”.
“I came for SACRED DESTRUCTION, HOLY CATASTROPHE. I came to uproot the vile fruit, I came to turn the soil”.
“I thought I fucked some prayer/chant up, and now I am seeing demons everywhere”.
“You see, these people who lie and pretend that people of my sect are abusing them or whatever… they are fucking toxic racists”.
“People have completely fucked with me, and in doing so gave fuckex with their lives and families because I hrld a rare key to their salvation”.
“I explained I am not a hater, but a highly patient spiritually driven person working in a region not only exotic to me, but where I am hated for being me”.
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List of other stories about Hunza & Chapursan Valley
- How past and present religions built a tradition palimpsest in a high valley of northern Pakistan
- Wakhi mountain houses of Zoodkhun in Chapursan Valley, northern Pakistan
- Portraits, Wakhi in relation with other people of their areas
- Wakhi people and Pamir life ex-libris
- What to see and what to do in a short period of time in Hunza
- The Great Game: Anglo-Russian encounter at the borders of Pamir, Hindu Kush and Karakoram
- Zoodkhun Village in Chapursan Valley preserves a scenic and authentic mountain oasis landscape
- Zoodkhun, Chapursan Valley, a life environment determined by altitude and remotness
- Chapursan Valley, where Zoodkhun nights unveil the universe
- What place for Zoodkhun into the global world?
- Karakoram Highway, a prototype of the new Silk Roads?
- Some reflections about the development of a responsible and community based tourism in Hunza Valley