Archive - February 2020

5 Practical Things You Should Do If You’re Battling Depression Right Now

If you’ve been making constant rounds to your boss’ cabin for ‘the talk’ because of missing deadlines, if you’ve started smoking too much knowing exactly how horrible it is for your body, if you’re spending most of your time alone in your room scrolling meaninglessly through your Facebook feed, you may be a victim of depression.

India is among the most depressed countries in the world. At a rate of 36%, as recorded by World Health Organization, it has the highest rate of depressed people recorded anywhere across the globe. It also has the highest suicide rate in the world too. It’s time we change the way we look at mental health.

If you feel you’re depressed, here’s what you can do to overcome it:

1. Talk to your loved ones
Communication, trust us, can resolve or reduce the intensity in most of the cases. Your loved ones – be it friends or family are your biggest support system. Instead of talking to your own self, confide in them. If you’re around someone who asks you to ‘snap out of it’, discuss it with someone else who has an open mind and a broader perspective. Talking things out is the healthiest solution to this problem!

When Deepika Padukone decided to open up about her battle with depression, she also managed to shun all the unnecessary embarrassment when it comes to talking about depression or mental health. Her biggest support was her family!

If you’d rather talk to someone who doesn’t know you well, you can call up the suicide prevention helpline Samaritan. Before you get alarmed, the helpline is also for people who are disturbed, distressed and depressed, not just people who are suicidal. So, don’t shut yourself out, seek help!

2. Boost your self-image
“I look stupid in that dress.”, “I just cannot pull off that presentation.”
If you’re having such self-doubts that make you feel horrible about yourself, you need to stop your chain of thoughts right now!

Try affirmation.

Affirmations are positive declarations and self-scripts meant to mold the subconscious into a more positive form. Read more about it here. Incorporate them in your daily life. Look at yourself in the mirror and say them out loud. And most importantly, believe in them!

3. Take up a hobby
Depression feeds on monotony. Break-free! Engage yourself in an interesting, fun activity. Take up cycling, learn a dance form or a musical instrument, be a part of workshops that teach you carpentry, pottery or theatre. Or you could go for treks and discover more about yourself.

Surprise yourself by learning something you had never thought of. Learning something new is super healthy for your brain. Look up what you like and just go for it. Try out things to see what makes you tick.  

4. Take your fitness seriously
There’s a strong definitive link between your physical and psychological health. This means no curling up in your bed with your phone. Intense exercise provides greater benefit for the brain than regular moderate activity.

Watch your sleep cycle; get up to 8 hours sleep. A sleep deprived body is more prone to depression.
Chalk out a fitness routine for yourself or hire a personal trainer if you’re too lazy. Get yourself fit, up and running.

 5. Be generous to someone
Sometimes your mind longs for something meaningful. And nothing beats making a difference to someone’s life. Take charge of someone’s financial needs.

If you think your maid has the potential to start her own business, start a fundraiser campaign for her. If you think the stray dogs in your area need vaccination, raise funds for their welfare. If you think your friend who needs to get operated doesn’t have enough money for his medical bills, raise funds for him.
If you think there are many who are going through what you’re going through you could raise funds for the NGO that works towards battling depression and other mental disorders. We think providing financial help is the best way to help someone.

The summers of unrest: What really went down in the Kashmir issue

As Kashmir prepares for its Global Kashmir Day tomorrow, it will be the 14th consecutive day since curfew began in the conflicted land. Much like Syria, the larger civil strife and humanitarian crisis has been going on for so long, that it hardly raises any concerns amongst the non-dwellers anymore. Contrary to popular media narrative, the Hindus and Muslims are not a separate nation, and each person, irrespective of religious inclination, gender or economic status, is in the same precarious state as any other Kashmiri resident. The situation is even worse in the Southern region of the state.

Since the past week, all newspapers and mobile networks have been shut down in light of an immensely tense situation. Tourists had to find a ‘jugaad’ way out of the state to safety, while places with a higher degree of violence are being forced to live without electricity since days. This long-standing political turmoil and civil unrest that began on Jul 8th, with the assassination of Burhan Wani, the young Mujahideen leader.

When a situation like this happens, it doesn’t attack any particular sect or person or group. The young and old, wise and dumb, radicals and liberals – all suffer alike. Here are a few major situations that occur in a crisis situation like this:

The issue of pellet guns

The accounted number of people injured in these is quite confusing, although a rough estimate of around 600 people has been made. Though non-lethal, pellet guns easily penetrate soft tissue in the body, making permanent and irreversible damage. Hospitals have performed 135 eye surgeries in the past week, and still so many more remain. Most of these people will never be able to see again, mainly because they cannot afford the expensive transplant treatment. Neither are these people aware or have the energy to fight with the government for a compensation. Even if they do and are successfully able to get their rightful chunk, they would have lived a lot of days in darkness before that actually happens. In individual capacity, you might be able to help accelerate this process by raising funds from friends and social networks through crowdfunding with Ketto. Know more about it here.

The death toll

As many as 45 people have lost their lives so far, and the count doesn’t seem to cease anytime soon. With more than 2000 injured, there is urgent need of medical attention to people caught in attacks and crossfire. Ambulances are being burnt down, and people are unable to conduct peaceful last rites for their loved ones. Civilians who deserve free medical attention, must wait until the military personnel who shot at them have justified the same. Perhaps they can, but their wounds can’t. They need money and immediate expert attention, which you might be able to help with.

How? Simple. Start a crowdfunding campaign with Ketto and find support from similar like-minded people. Your support might not be able to change the situation in Kashmir, but it is sure to relieve a lot of lives from a lot of pain.

Food- a basic need

Kashmir is in a state of emergency. The streets are deserted, and there is no guarantee that anyone who goes out will come back home safely. People have been living on stored supplies, and they might not last them for long. We do not know how much more time the strife would last, though we are sure that their stores wouldn’t.While parliamentarians like Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia are calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir, we are not too sure if a starved population would be thinking much about a referendum. Agony has become a way of life for them.

The problem with Kashmir is not that people don’t consider themselves a part of this country, rather the real problem is that the rest of India doesn’t treat them like they were their own. Like they say in Kashmiri, “Yeli pyeyi chhanas panas peth” (When it is your responsibility, you will be more serious about it).

Take responsibility. Stand up for any of the above mentioned issues, or anything else that you feel needs collaborative human effort. Crowdfunding India is the greatest form of collaborative support in our times, and what better than starting with Ketto?

Citations:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/kashmir-india-protests-killed-clashes-police-pakistan/

Kashmir Muslims Defy Curfew to Help Perform Last Rites of Pandit Woman

Help from home: 3 ways to help flood affected Assam (working title)

More than 18 out of 27 districts have been affected by theses devastating floods. At least 6 villages are completely submerged under water, with a displaced population of over 12 lakh and counting. As the situation in Assam deteriorates with every passing moment, there seems to be no visible light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon.

Assam Floods, lower Assam worst

On ground reality of the situation, (brought to you by Oxfam India)

Here are 3 effective ways in which you could be a rescue champion for the many lives disrupted and brought to a standstill by the life altering events along river Brahmaputra. Participate in any way you can, and add to undoing the ruinous act of nature. With high speed internet easily accessible to the ones who are capable of providing help, joining the movement just broke limitations set by geographical borders.

Circulate these emergency contact numbers

Here are a few important contacts that might help you get through or just provide required help at places. While spreading the word won’t undo what nature hath already chanced, it might help do some damage control. Spread the word as much as you can so that as many people as possible may benefit from these.

When you are stuck and don’t know who to call:

Contact David Kujur (+91-7399016122) of the Inter Agency Group who has taken up the role of a coordinator for the many agencies and organisations that are working in the flood affected areas of the state.

With the outbreak of floods, there has been reported impact on basic everyday needs of people, including bare necessities like food, clothing and shelter. Kaplianlal Thangluai (+91-8486355571) of IGSSS (Indo Global Social Service Society) has offered to help with all kinds of distress support in Lower Assam, where flood impact is the highest.

When you spot an astray animal of Kaziranga National Park:

Ever since heaven’s broke loose in the state, almost 60% of the Kaziranga national park’s rhinoceros and other animals have escaped the drowning forests, looking for higher ground. If you spot any animal or related dangerous activity, you may call range officer Jayanta Das (+91-9435052838), or the field director, Satyendra Singh (+91-9435102834).

Donate

One of India’s pioneering NGOs in grassroot social engagement- Oxfam India has taken up the helm by starting a fundraiser on Ketto to rescue victims who have lost everything that they had in the calamity. Their cause is based on extensive in-ground assessment of the situation, that they have been doing for the past 3 days. Join the movement here by donating (cause unclear, will update text once that is sorted). Help bring these distraught, innocent victims out of their situation.

Even if one person took upon her/himself to rescue just one person, a number of such thoughtful souls could add up to create a better, more resource driven rescue mechanism!

Share the love in kind

Apart from the above mentioned issues, a detailed needs assessment report by IGSSS cites food items like rice & dal, plastic sleeping mats, hygiene kit washing (buckets with lids, bath soaps, washing soaps, disinfection liquids, sanitary napkins), package drinking water, tarpaulin, mosquito nets and candles as urgent items that need to reach the affected families ASAP. You may share whatever you can by getting in touch with either of the NGO contacts mentioned above.

While it is not possible for each one of us to reach out and contribute physically, there are many other ways in which one can use internet for good, and help the citizenry in distress. After all, we are all for one, and one for all. That’s the beauty of the human race.

Ketto targets $100m by crowdfunding; gets $700k investment led by Calcutta Angels & The Chennai Angels

July 15, 2015

Mumbai

Mumbai based crowdfunding platform for social, personal and creative projects – Ketto has raised $700k in funding led by Pradyumna Dalmia, deal champion of Calcutta Angels and Sudhir Rao, deal champion of The Chennai Angels and co-founder of IndusAge Partners.

The other investors in the round include – Singapore Angel Network, Anupam Mittal, Indian Internet Fund, Letsventure, Chennai Angels, Calcutta Angels, Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N), Ah Ventures, and Project Guerrilla.

With the infused funds, the startup plans to double its technology and business development team with an aim to reach $100m in volumes by crowdfunding.

Ketto also plans to expand operations in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, among other South-East Asian countries.

Founded in October, 2012 by Varun Sheth, Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor and Zaheer Adenwala, Ketto is Asia’s largest crowdfunding platform for social, personal and creative projects, according to crowdsurfer.com.

The company has witnessed a growth of 3000% year-on-year basis in terms of volumes, and in the past few months, has been crowdfunding close to a crore monthly.

In the last 12 months, multiple celebrities & corporates have backed various projects by raising funds on Ketto. The list includes names like – Hritik Roshan, Amitabh Bachchan, Anuskha Sharma, Myntra, StarSports, among others.

Recently, Ketto has created first-of-its-kind partnership with Lakme Fashion Week – to provide a platform to the seven Gen Next designers to garner funds to launch their label at the upcoming showcase in August, 2015 in Mumbai.

With global crowdfunding market estimated to reach $96bn by 2025, and Asia being the key growth driver, Ketto is uniquely positioned to amass maximum support for a project of any kind – be it disaster, social, technology, creative or personal.

Varun Sheth, Co-founder & CEO, Ketto said, “The fresh round of funds will be used to build a world class platform which will facilitate users to raise funds across multiple categories for any project of their choice.”

Existing investor Pradyumna Dalmia Co-founder, Calcutta Angels said, “Being one of the first investors in Ketto, we have been closely associated with the team for the last 18 months. During this time, the company has shown exceptional progress and grown at a lightning speed with a very tight burn rate and zero advertising cost. With new fund infusion, I am confident that  Ketto will be among the top 10 global crowdfunding platforms in the world.”

Incoming investor Sudhir Rao deal champion The Chennai Angels and co-founder of IndusAge Partners said, “Ketto has the potential to democratize a multi-billion dollar fundraising industry. It is creating a platform where everyone has an equal chance to raise funds for any project: be it social or commercial. I am very excited to work with Ketto to help it build a truly world-class product and team.”

Veteran Danseuse Tara Balgopal’s Campaign Overfunded!

[You can contribute towards helping Ms Balgopal lead a life of dignity again, by contributing to her campaign here.]

Octogenarian Tara Balgopal’s countless medals and accolades, bestowed upon her decades ago by various Prime Ministers, are today coasted with layers of dust and faded glory in her Rajouri House in Delhi . As we browse through these photographs of her now, there’s no mistaking the aching sadness that wells up, nor the acknowledgement that this graceful lady deserves much better. Most prominent of all is the desire to be able to help her attain a life fitting of her talent and calibre.

A Celebrated Performer of Noted Indian Dance Forms

In the 60’s, her mastery of traditional Indian dance forms such as Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Kathakali cemented her position as a cultural icon of the times. Unfortunately, it seems that that respect didn’t translate over the years in public memory; her contributions to the arts were forgotten altogether, leaving her in heart-wrenching poverty today.

Ms. Balgopal’s Contribution to Delhi University

Besides being a veteran danseuse, Ms. Balgopal also used to hold (http://www.idiva.com/news-work-life/veteran-indian-classical-dancer-tara-balgopal-now-lives-in-poverty/15100657) the admirable post of Reader in English at the Delhi University’s Rajdhani College, and in 1963, she went on to be the first Indian to conduct UG courses on All India Radio. With such inspiring achievements to her credit, it seems particularly unjust that post-retirement, Tara was refused her due credits and benefits by the University, for which she is currently fighting a legal case. The University’s claim to have lost Ms. Balgopal’s files has further compounded the misery, rendering her case a casualty to red tape.

“They owe me Rs.2 crore as they paid me the dues of a Lecturer while I was a Reader. Now they tell me that I was never there,” said Tara Balgopal told The Hindu. “I got a call from my lawyer a few days back saying that I have lost the case. I have lost all my money in the case. My husband (a chartered accountant) used to fight the case on my behalf. He died three-and-a-half-years ago. I was given a lawyer from the National Woman’s Council. The Council pays him his fee but people tell me he doesn’t go to the court.”

Banks and insurance companies too joined the notorious bandwagon in withholding her funds as well as personal property. She has had to depend on the charity of her neighbours to a large extent, some of whom are rather indifferent to her plight — knowing her as the ‘Madrasi’ in a largely Punjabi neighbourhood — while others, kinder, bring over food once in a while.

The Accolades & Association of the 1960’s

Old photographs of the veteran performer taken with the then heavyweights of Indian politics and the music industry lie strewn and yellowing around her dilapidated house. After her performance in the Parliament in 1960, there had even been a postal stamp issued by the Government of India in 1963 to honour her, and back in the day, she had woven on charkhas with Mahatma Gandhi and been a close friend of the Gandhi family’s.

It seems absurd that such talent, glory and beauty can be reduced over the years due to the gross negligence by the government of its veteran artists. Shrinking attention spans and the ever-rotating media spotlight have meant that many accomplished artists’ feats are often forgotten in their sunset years, but when the media’s eye did turn to Ms Balgopal’s current life of uncertainty, a certain Nikhil Sarup stepped up to turn good intentions to constructive action.

Real Talk: The Power of Crowdfunding In Affecting Change

Co-founder of LawRato.com, a Delhi-based legal advice startup, Mr Sarup offered her free legal aid and started a campaign on Ketto.org to crowdfund her living and medical expenses as well as those for the repairs needed to her house.

Thanks to Mr Sarup’s campaign on the platform, over 360 backers, with whom her story resonated deeply, came together to successfully cross the goal of raising INR 6, 00, 000. With over a month left, her campaign has actually been overfunded in a tip of the hat to human benevolence, and the power of empathy.

We sincerely hope that she will be able to live a comfortable life with the funds, and now has the means to continue to fight for the dues she rightfully deserves, and we are honoured to have played a small part in helping her along her journey.

[You can contribute towards helping Ms Balgopal lead a life of dignity again, by contributing to her campaign here.]

For their first Birthday, Gift them a Birthday !

sid-cry

Here is a way to celebrate your birthday which would make you feel proud and bring smile on 100’s of these kids. The young chap Siddhart  VD (Sid) is currently pursuing his MBA from Welingar’s College. His visions and way of thinking are very different from that of the current generation youngsters. On his birthday he was very keen on stopping child labor in our country by doing a bit towards this cause. That’s when he joined hands with the NGO named CRY. With this thought in his mind he started a fundraising page on Ketto, where he asked all his friends to help him for the cause instead of spending money for his gifts.

His vision towards this cause was to enable people to take responsibility for the situation of the deprived Indian child and so motivate them to seek resolution through individual and collective action thereby enabling children to realize their full potential.

He states ‘The amount you spend on one fun night out with friends or a meal at a restaurant can go a long way in ensuring that children go to school and not work.’

Be the one to give India’s children a happy and healthy childhood.

Support the cause. Start your own campaign

For more details on his campaign – CLICK here!