Author - Alok Purohit

About Alok Purohit

He has nothing but respect for all forms of social activism. He hopes to do his bit by writing some cool blog posts with heart...and soul!

Find more about me on:

Here are my most recent posts

Crowdfunding: Musically yours

music

Crowdfunding has seen large numbers of takers in recent years and is gaining momentum in many fields, including music. The music industry has, for the past five years, been quick to assimilate this exciting form of financial assistance.

In recent times, crowdfunding has been one of the most promising means for new artists to garner money and produce their art. With internet being as democratic and far-reaching as it is, and large-scale and long-term investments being hard to come by, it is no wonder that this endeavour has become an important platform for new talent. 

The music industry has benefited greatly from this form of investment. Music creation is an arena in which many covet to find their niche and there is almost an inexhaustible pool of talent. Hence, music events and albums starting to be crowdfunded is a blessing in disguise for youth fettered only by the lack of resources. What’s better than people laying their trust on upcoming artists and agreeing to fund their production? As a goodwill response to this, artists are motivated to provide gifts to these ‘investors’ of good faith.

skyharbourProgressive metal band, Skyharbour

A really cool example is that of the progressive metal band, Skyharbour. The Indian indie band crowdfunded their 10-track album, ‘Guiding Lights’, with overwhelming success, reaching their required monetary target 125 days before the funding campaign was about to end. As gratitude, everyone who pledged got access to weekly interviews, studio footage, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the band’s video. Skyharbour also gave their supporters bonus tracks and Skype music lessons.

Another famous example of successful crowdfunding is that of Vasudha Sharma, vocalist of the pop band Aasma, who crowdfunded her debut album, ‘Attuned Spirits’.

Even large scale events have been crowdfunded. The best example in this regard is Control Alt Delete. This crowdfunded musical fiesta will have its eighth edition in June. Its pay-what-you-want drive has sustained steady income and ensured that fans are not disappointed with the line up of artists and bands that the collaborators entertain them with.

This is where the role of a crowdfunding websites such as Ketto becomes crucial.  Crowdfunding websites develop the campaign plan for clients, like music composers and artists, and list their requirements, update their daily collection, spell out the returns the crowd would get, among other things. This increases credibility and ensures a demand-supply coordination, apart from increasing transparency.

Crowd funding is a good way to benefit from trust, goodwill and love for the art, which were kind of getting diluted in a world of commerce and quick-sells. Applied to various fields of art, it will bring out the best budding talent, and provide hearty motivation to even the most cash-strapped ideas.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up with Ketto and make your dream a reality.

To know more, visit ketto.org/fundraising-music.php

Crowdfunding education on Ketto: An online revolution lifting burden from NGOs and individuals

education girl

Ever thought how different life would have been, had your parents not sent you to a school? We are definitely fortunate enough to have had a stable educational journey. But, not everyone is as lucky as the educated minority–as us! You wish life was that easy on those underprivileged, who are gifted with the same amount of brains, but are never pushed across the boundary, due to lack of funds.

That has spurred several charities and NGOs to take a notice of our youth’s living rawness. Though the landscape seems to be changing, but at a snail’s pace, you would agree. We need more, much more. Perhaps raising money from a large number of people usually in small increments, via the Internet might help?

Crowdfunding essentially. Just imagine the magnitude of impact it can possibly create if our population of 1.5 billion decide to come along to increase the literacy rate? (That massive number… Woah!)

Crowdfunding is for anyone and everyone

In this materialistic world, dreams are expensive. Especially the ones that involve education. Gone are those days when crowdfunding used to be an alien concept: to learn as well as to execute. With the advent of internet, it’s become much easier. Almost anyone and everyone can start a campaign on our website to raise funds in support of the marginalised of the society as well as for themselves.

We have already talked how crowdfunding – the new kid on the block is proving to be an effective tool. Remember Shweta Katti’s story? (A girl, born and raised in the red light area of Mumbai, was sent to the USA by raising funds for her education on our platform). There are more of such examples that have changed lives. Let it be your turn to start a campaign next.

How does Ketto help in the execution of the cool concept of crowdfunding?

Whether you are an NGO supporting education as your cause, or a student who needs funds to pay that pesky tuition fee, Ketto is the platform for what you’re looking for to fund everything from paper and crayons to tomorrow’s next big discovery.

When we say, crowdfunding is an easy and productive method to raise funds from a large number of mass, we mean it.

You ask, how? We give you the answer:

  • Crowdfunding helps you pay in-full for education by spreading the costs among numerous contributors all over the world (less stress)
  • Instead of graduating with thousands and lakhs of rupees of student debt, students can choose to use Ketto to fund college and graduate school. It completely slashes out bank loan as an option (relief, right?!)
  • It doesn’t cost a penny on Ketto, you can simply start your campaign by signing up on our website
  • It’s as easy as Facebook, no kidding! (If you still find it difficult, Team Ketto is there to help, don’t worry!)

India, as a developing country has seen movements like Teach for India taking our country by a storm in recent times. Just like TFI, there exists a massive number of NGOs which are striving hard to make a visible difference in the life of children living in rural areas.

Education is deemed to be the primary concern for our nation. As they say: Padhega India to Badhega India (Education is the key to India’s success). It’s time to cheer up, buck up and fire up your dream to go abroad for higher education, or give the underprivileged their right to education. It’s time you grab your key to tomorrow on Ketto.

Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Valentine’s Day

VDay

There is more to Valentine’s Day than meets the eye. Here are some fascinating facts you’ll be amazed to know!

The popular holiday of Valentine’s Day is celebrated internationally on February 14th, a tradition that dates back to the third century AD!

The day is named after Valentinus, a Roman Catholic priest who later attained martyrdom and became known as Saint Valentinus or Saint Valentine.

Valentinus attained martyrdom when he was executed for going against the king’s wishes. The day his death sentence was carried out – February 14th – became known as Valentine’s Day.

There are several stories as to why Valentinus was imprisoned and sentenced to death. In fact, over the centuries, many priests were named after Valentinus and their stories began to merge with his, leading to an abundance of myths revolving around St. Valentine.

The Most Popular Myth

The story goes that the Roman Catholic priest Valentinus lived in Rome during the rule of King Claudius in around 3 AD. The king had many beliefs that stifled his kingdom. One of his decrees made Christianity illegal. Another belief he enforced regarded his soldiers’ marital status. Claudius believed that soldiers should remain unmarried. His reasoning was that if soldiers had families, they would not fight fearlessly to death, since they would want to ensure they returned home to their wife and children.

Valentinus, being a staunch Catholic, stuck to his faith though it was made illegal. And he continued to perform the marriage rites for any soldiers who approached him wanting to get married. When King Claudius found out about this, he had Valentinus imprisoned and sentenced him to death.

While in prison, one of the prison guards asked Valentinus if he would tutor his blind daughter Julia. Valentinus agreed and began to pass on his knowledge to Julia. He spoke to her, describing nature, objects, art, etc. so she could understand them even through her blindness. He taught her about faith and belief in Christ. One day Julia confided in Valentinus that she had begun to pray for the blessing of sight, and so she and Valentinus joined her in her prayers. Their faith grew so strong that one day Julia suddenly saw a bright light and gained back her vision. On the day Valentinus died, February 14, he left her a last note, urging her to keep her faith strong. He signed it ‘From Your Valentine’. And that is how Valentine’s Day came into being.

So Valentine’s Day was originally not about romance but about the goodness of sacrifice and about the power of faith.

So, in the true spirit of Valentine’s Day, why not do something to instill faith in others and spread goodness? Start a campaign and make life a little sweeter for the underprivileged. Spread the true Valentine spirit this year!

 

10 Reasons Crowdfunding Is Perfect For You

top10

This New Year, do something different. Do something awesome…

It’s that time of the year again. As the curtain begins to drop on 2014, the New Year is getting ready to take centre stage.

These last few days are all about nostalgic looks back, the hope of an even better year ahead, the vow to do better, to be kinder and other noble New Year’s resolutions.

If you’re stuck on what to resolve for the New Year, let Ketto come to your rescue. Remember that hobby you haven’t been able to make enough time for? The song, book, film, app or other genius idea that’s been on the backburner? Well, it’s time to let that creative fancy take flight in 2015!

Vow to crowdfund your creative project this New Year!

  1. You can make your hobby your career this year! You can now crowdfund for any creative cause under the sun.
  2. You don’t need a huge budget. Whatever stage your project is in, get the financial support you need to complete it!
  3. You don’t need a marketing budget. When you reach out to people while introducing your project, it indirectly markets it right there!
  4. You don’t need a PR team. All you need is social media. Flex your email, Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp muscles!
  5. Reach a wider audience in seconds! Ask your friends and family to share your campaign link with their networks.
  6. Get instant validation. You’ll know you’re on the right path when people back your project!
  7. Get expert advice and feedback. Ask your network to send you their thoughts.  Get opinions and gauge what needs to be done to better your work.
  8. Get a pre-launch makeover. Use the feedback you get to smoothen any chinks you have before you launch your project.
  9. Backers will fund your creative project without any strings attached. Creative control remains with you.
  10. You can build a strong, loyal fan base by interacting with your supporters through social media.

Sounds good? Get started on your New Year’s Resolution today!

 

Un-bully-vable! (Anti-Bullying Week)

Close-up of sad child's eyes for Anti-Bullying Week

Bullying isn’t just about the school playground. It’s about the office as well. We throw light on adult bullies at the workplace this Anti-Bullying Week.

What is Bullying

If we told you that bullying in the workplace is a common occurrence, would it surprise you? If it does, ask yourself this – are you aware of all the forms of bulling that currently exist? It is quite probable that you may have either experienced or witnessed bullying at your office but have been unaware that the behavior is classified as bullying.

“I was pretty surprised when a colleague pointed out to me that my boss was being a bully! Now that I’m more aware, I’m shocked how easily I had accepted his behavior as something bosses normally do,” confides 25-year-old travel agent Isha Kuruvilla.

So what exactly is bullying? By definition, any act of intimidation falls under the umbrella of bullying. It is aggression that could be verbal, physical, social or psychological. Being yelled at, threatened or berated, especially in the presence of coworkers; being repetitively humiliated; being socially excluded or ignored; facing sabotage of reputation or work; being made the butt of harsh comments and jokes – all these fall under the category of bullying.

“My boss would tell me my work was trash and then top it up with comments like ‘You should just start looking for another job’,” reveals Isha. “It upset me each time I heard it, but I kept telling myself that’s just how it works in the real world.” Sadly enough, Isha’s response is unsurprising.

Effects of Bullying

Bullying has become as commonplace as, well, offices, and therefore the misbelief that bullying is a part of the real world thrives. This is unfortunate since bullying can have several adverse effects on the victim. There is emotional distress, stress that often leads to health issues, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Bullying has adverse consequences not just for the victim but for the organization as well. An unhappy, stressed employee’s productivity will certainly be reduced. Stress also leads to illnesses which means the employee will be on sick leave often. Also not great for the organization. Nor the employee, who would have several medical bills to pay.

The Bullying Boss

If you’re wondering why it is that people bully, it’s not a big mystery. Power is a heady thing, and those who wield authority may manage it unwisely. “Bad managers tend to be from smaller companies. The larger ones have a human resources team set for quality – and behavior – control,” explains HR Executive Sushant Matre.

Although, we must point out here, large corporations can be insidious breeding grounds for bullies as well. “If the boss is the bully, it won’t be easy for subordinates to get him to stop. It could mean you losing your job,” shares Rima Patel, a part-time teacher who left a corporate job due to the stressful work environment caused by a bullying superior.

“This is true,” affirms Jonaki Upadhyay, Ph D, Psychology. “It’s a dicey situation. To challenge a bullying boss, you need allies. Often, an HR department might not do anything about bad bosses because the bully may be more profit-making than loss-making to the company. But if that scale ever tips, bullies are often fired. That is, if the relevant authorities are aware of the bullying.”

Why Bullies Bully

The reason why bullies bully is generally because they feel threatened by a colleague. The reason bullying thrives is competition. “Because it is individuals that are rewarded for their work, competition arises, and that leads to a whole lot of stuff,” explains Jonaki. “An ambitious fellow might want to get ahead, might want someone else’s better-paying job, might feel threatened by a co-worker’s ability, might just be mean-spirited – and therefore resorts to bullying to secure what he/she wants,” she lists.

How to Deal with Bullies

And the reason bullies are able to bully as long as they do is that victims often don’t speak up about it or report it. “You need to stand up for your right to be respected and treated with dignity,” advises Jonaki. “And it’s imperative to tackle the bullying. Either make the bully aware of his/her actions in an emotionally controlled manner or report a complaint so at least it’s on the record.”

Here’s an example of responding in a controlled manner: In Isha’s case, had she responded to her bullying boss by saying, “I understand your concern for better quality and will work on it. I have a concern too – the manner in which you communicate your displeasure,” the bullying might have been remedied.

Often, bullying bosses might not realize they are being perceived as bullies. If made aware of this in a diffused manner, they are likely to work on their behaviour. It’s important to approach them delicately and privately rather than aggressively in the presence of others.

Of course, if trying to diffuse the bullying doesn’t help and the victim’s mental and physical health is deteriorating, the best thing to do is move to another work environment.

Although bullying has not been outlawed yet, we hope one day it will. Until the day arrives, let’s continue to try and make our world a better place.

Have you experienced bullying? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Want to help make the world a kinder place? Start a campaign here!

 

Celebrating Children (Magic Bus, Nikhil Chinapa’s campaign, Akshayapatra)

Underprivileged children holding slates to ask for help towards their education

Since this month hosts Children’s Day (November 14th in India, November 20th everywhere else), we thought we would continue celebrating and supporting children. One way for us to do this via our blog post is to highlight all the cool things being done that aim to secure children’s fundamental rights. These also give YOU the opportunity to support children and do right by Children’s Day.

Educating through Sports

The delightfully-named NGO Magic Bus was established to provide wholesome education and life skills to children through sports and play. A brilliant stratagem to beat illiteracy and help transform the future of underprivileged children, we think. Magic Bus has been able to help 250,000 children so far and hopes to positively affect one million children’s lives by 2015! Want to be part of this incredible movement? Start a fundraiser for Magic Bus!

Girl-child Education

The one and only Nikhil Chinapa (yes, the very one who has worked with MTV and several music events) has been campaigning on Ketto in support of girl-child education. The campaign is raising funds for a cool programme called The Schooling Project by the Indu Jagmohan Toshniwal Charitable Foundation. The programme aims to provide holistic education and academic opportunities to 460 underprivileged girls. They are working towards giving these girls the opportunity to pursue their dreams, whether in professional sports, the creative arts (music included, but of course), environmental sciences…you get the picture!

If you choose to support this campaign, you are in for a special treat. Nikhil Chinapa has created some exclusive rewards to give to all those who contribute to his campaign. You can opt for tickets to his next music concert, or hang out with Nikhil in his DJ booth at the gig, or get a quick cash course in mixing, or have a post-event meal with him and shoot the breeze, or you could even have him perform at your birthday bash!! Check out his campaign page and choose your reward!

Ending Classroom Hunger

We are all aware of how malnutrition can impede every aspect of a child’s development. A hungry child would not be able to concentrate on academics. A malnourished child may well succumb to frequent illnesses and miss out on schooling completely.  This is the scenario NGO Akshayapatra is working on erasing for good. So far, student attendance has increased by around 11% thanks to their efforts. And a mere Rs. 750 is all they need to feed a child for an entire year. Imagine how many more children you could help if you fundraised! Get started here!

Want to start a campaign for an NGO of your choice?