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We are Asia's most visited crowdfunding platform that helps you raise funds for personal needs, charitable causes and creative ideas.

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Ketto Awards 2019

What are Ketto Awards?

To bring about a sustainable change is not a simple task, but those who drive the change must be recognised. We, at Ketto, believe in the need to recognise and celebrate the work being done to initiate a lasting and positive change. This leads us to bring for the first time the Ketto Awards. The purpose of Ketto Awards is to answer the “why” and the “so what” about the work we engage in. Not just delivering high-quality evaluations, our mission is to elevate the effectiveness of development. We aim to learn, shape, and improve social impact in India.

Through Ketto Awards, we aim to honour prominent NGOs and individuals, often in partnership with the public and third sectors, in addressing social challenges and improving the communities in which they operate. It is our tribute to these organisations and individuals who have achieved a meaningful and sustainable social impact through their own endeavour, or through partnership, investment, and different pro-bono initiatives.

The Jury:-

The panel of judges has an important role to play in the inaugurating The Ketto Awards. After contemplating a lot on our panel, we chose three industry stalwarts to assure the quality and high standards that identify the Awards with. Owing to their diverse background in the developmental sector of the country and the world, we truly believe in their astute approach of selecting the winners. Below are the esteemed jury members.

Sheila Nair

Sheila is the Director of Resource Mobilization in the Cancer programme of Tata Trusts. Her portfolio includes identifying and drawing in resources, both financial and non-financial, to supplement the rollout of the plans of the Cancer Care program. Besides, she explores and designs unique investment models in the social sector for the specific plans of the programme, including donor management and fund deployment. Prior to this, she was the Director General of the Indian Cancer Society for over two years, a society focused on non-medical civil services in the cancer space including awareness, screening for early detection through peripheral camps, registry, survivorship, rehabilitation and a unique cancer cure fund in collaboration with banks. She also has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry in India of which 22 years were in the Taj Group of Hotels.

Thomas Chandy

Thomas Chandy is the founder and CEO of Save the Children, India and under his leadership, the organisation grew to become one of the foremost child rights organisations in India. During this period, he led the organisation to make effective coalitions in the civil society space, as well as with the Government. He has been the driving force behind setting up of the early childhood development centre at the Jamia Milia University, the setting up of CFNS (Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security) and has supported many such initiatives. He was a member of the Save the Children Global steering the group and led on two global initiatives through the network leadership model. He was a panel speaker at the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 25th-anniversary celebrations in New York as well as the UN-Habitat 111 at Quito, Ecuador. Thomas has served on various non-profit Boards. He is currently the Board President of Woodstock International School. He has also served on the National advisory council of Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram, the Government of India’s flagship programme addressing issues of developmental delays among children. Before transitioning into the non-profit sector, Thomas spent a number of years in the corporate sector in various leadership level positions, the last being the Coca-Cola company.

Yashwant Deshmukh

Yashwant Deshmukh is a communications professional with an eclectic range of experience as a journalist, pollster, evaluation expert, international observer and TV News anchor rolled into one. Over the last two decades, Yashwant has grown as a celebrated figure in the media and communication industry for his special emphasis on research, design & production. He started Team CVoter in 1993 when he was still studying in IIM-C. After receiving the UNI award for best research dissertation and for topping the 1993 batch across all streams; his company CVoter was hired by the premier news agency UNI to take care of online real-time election analysis. The journey continued, eventually making Team CVoter one of the largest media and stakeholder research agencies in Asia with expertise in Public opinion research and election studies. Today, over 120 members work for CVoter across their 24×7 offices in Washington DC, Dubai and New Delhi.

Winners Of Ketto Awards 2019

Category 1 :- Best Startup NGO of the Year

The Bridges of Sports Foundation is a non-profit startup founded in 2016 to build an inclusive sports ecosystem, with a focus on providing children from rural and tribal background an opportunity to learn, play and excel in sports. They have based their sports model around a community athletics league called PATANG (one of India’s first time based, community athletics league) and work with the most backward communities and give people an opportunity to train, a chance to excel and have a career in sports, irrespective of their background. They are also working on an open source platform to enable other NGO’s/organisations to implement and monitor sports programs. This model focuses specifically on nurturing grassroots and empowering isolated communities by utilizing sports as a social development tool. The year 2018 has seen a 43% increase in enrolments into their community athletics league. Till date, Bridges of Sports has 30 community coaches, 1800+ students, 40+ student recognition and work across 3 states with 10 partners.

Category 2:- Best Indian NGO

Started in October 2013, the Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF) is a non-profit organization which aids people with disabilities to pursue sports while providing self-sustenance. They raise funds through their signature fundraising event (the Infinity Ride) and scout out talent among the disabled population in India. They then provide counseling, Funds, equipment for such individuals and train these athletes right from the grassroot level which helps them grow in their sport, compete and win at the International level. For some, the foundation even helps some find a suitable sport. The Aditya Mehta Foundation has helped Harish Varma, the only Para-Arm Wrestler who won 2 medals at the World Arm Wrestling Championship. They also supported disabled tennis player Subramanian Balachandar, who finished the Bangkok Cup 2018 with a silver medal in the doubles category and bronze in the singles. The Aditya Mehta Foundation conducted a national training camp for the specially abled in BSF Bangalore where they counselled and trained the specially abled from the armed forces in different sports and have supported more than 15 specially abled with artificial limbs and international sponsorships worth 50 lakhs. They plan to train at least 100 para athletes for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics as well as build 2 sports academies and open rehab centres for the specially abled.

There’s An App For That

Many of us, who eat out regularly, are aware of the daily problem of what to do with the leftover restaurant food. Typically, restaurants over prepare certain items that are on the specials menu and other popular dishes so that their customers are well-taken care of. Luckily, there are many people coming up with new ways to assist restaurants and grocery stores in dealing with their extra or leftover food. There is even an app for that. The use of modern day technology has made it easy to connect and coordinate, making food accessible to the needy.

Mobile apps can be used to arrange food for the needy via pickup at the restaurants or stores, and the designated volunteers can go and pick up the extra or leftover items. These items are then taken to the food banks or soup kitchens to help those less fortunate and to provide a nourishing and delicious meal for the poor and needy.

ffbiglogo

Through a mobile app and website, Feeding Forward allows vendors, event planners, and restaurants with extra food to just tap the app and then a volunteer is dispatched to the location. Due to the ease of the app and the dedication of Komal Ahmad, the organisation Recovering Food can supply food for around 4,279 people at eight different shelters, thereby reducing food waste. Also, Ahmad estimates that 5 million tons of food stays out of landfills each year and is instead given to the needy.
Several successful entrepreneurs add on to their success by helping the needy, with the mere click of an app. There is much to be said about the ability of one person who cares enough to help out another who is in need. Of course, making such food arrangements for the needy, on a wider scale needs funding as it costs the restaurants and the food stores a substantial amount to box the food and make it viable for transport.
They cannot afford to do this on a regular basis, and as a result any such program could come to a halt. Except that people, like Ahmad and Pajak, have been seeking funds to support the restaurants by providing them reimbursement for the costs incurred while packaging and safely transferring the food. The drivers who deliver the food are volunteers, and they are happy to be contributing by reducing food waste and making food arrangements for the needy. Several times, the drivers themselves get their free meals from the donated food. So, it is a win-win situation for them.
Reducing food waste is a global problem. Landfills receive millions of pounds of leftover restaurant food worldwide that does not get eaten, while elsewhere people go to their beds hungry. The efforts of young entrepreneurs are promising and will result in reducing food wastage. Check in your neighbourhood to see if giving away leftover food is only an app away and consider donating to the crowdfunding pages of those who are making food arrangements for the needy such as Pratik Agarwal, Komal Ahmad and many others.
Crowdfunding website Ketto has been allowing many such organizations to raise funds and support their projects. Projects such as The Magic Truck, Janta Meals, and Uday Foundation are dedicating their time to ensuring that everyone has access to nutrition and affordable/ free food.
‘Feeding India’ is a not-for-profit social enterprise that seeks a resolution to two main problems of hunger and food wastage. As a part of its Magic truck initiative, the organization collects the leftover food from corporate offices and restaurants and uses it to provide meals to the poor. The crowdfunding page for the Magic Truck has raised ₹2,14,014 ($3,331.09) so far through 104 supporters. The Magic Truck provides meals consisting of one dal, 1 vegetable along with chappatis, rice and some dessert to the poor. Through their crowdfunding page on Ketto.org they aim to raise enough money to provide nutritious meals to 1000 people, twice a day.
Janta Meals is a chain of food outlets located in slum areas that provides hygienically prepared wholesome food at affordable rates. The service involves community-based franchises that cater to urban migrant labourers including cycle rickshaw drivers, sweepers, mechanics, vegetable sellers etc.
Janta Meals also promotes entrepreneurship as these individual franchises are operated by micro-entrepreneurs, who are given an initial loan to help setup their food outlet. They are also provided with subsidized food that they then sell to the customers. Currently, there are 23 such outlets in Gurgaon, serving meals to around 4,500 people every day. Janta Meals has raised ₹2,10,200 ($3,271.72) through their 51 supporters via their crowdfunding online page on Ketto.org.
The Uday Foundation has so far managed to raise ₹1,17,103 ($1,822.69) through their 37 supporters via their crowdfunding page on Ketto.org. The Uday Foundation provides food to underprivileged patients and their families or caretakers at government hospitals who cannot afford both medical bills and food. The organization also provides good, nutritious food to children from poor families who come to Delhi for longer treatment.
Keywords: leftover food, restaurants, food stores, food arrangement for reduced, leftover restaurant food, reducing food waste.

4 Examples Of How Crowdfunding Is Changing The Face Of Indian Education

Education in India has come a long way post-independence. While earlier, the education was merely a means for the urban community, now it has been percolating to the lower strata as well, reflected in the rise in the number of students going to school. The gross school enrollment ratio increased from 102.96% in 2003 to 108% in 2014 as per World Bank data.

However, on the flip side, much still needs to be done. The infrastructure in government schools is not up to the mark. Certain remote corners in our country still don’t have enough number of schools schools and children there either remain uneducated or have to travel long distances for schooling.

Crowdfunding India has significantly contributed to alter this grim scenario. People have started fundraisers highlighting various issues and managed to accumulate funds for the same.

‘Ebion’ For The Mishing Children

Ebion

One such notable fundraiser has been initiated by an NGO, the Society for Promotion of Tribal Welfare and Development for Ebion Public School, Majuli Island, Assam. Majuli is a large river island in the Brahmaputra River. It is an agriculture dominated place, mainly inhabited by the Mishing Tribe. The island is only accessible by a ferry from the closest city, Jorhat. Owing to its location in the midst of the river, the tribal children of this place lack good educational facilities. To bridge this gap, Society for Promotion of Tribal Welfare and Development set up a school here. Ebion, which literally implies justice sought by poor people, is a noble initiative by which an effort is made towards educating the tribal population, enabling them to get closer to the mainstream.

However, due to paucity of funds, the school lacked proper infrastructure. The bamboo and tin sheet building was always susceptible to floods, the thing common to this region. It also lacked proper toliets, libraries, furniture, fans and the like. Imagine the plight of students and the teachers who tried to work in such conditions!

The fundraiser for this school on Ketto accumulated ₹4,43,245 with 47 supporters. Such was the success of the fundraiser that the school has initiated another fundraiser for further improvements in the school and its facilities!

Girls Off To School

girls off to school

Likewise, there’s another school in Ghazipur built by the Ajivam Educational Society Trust. This school touches another significant aspect of inclusion of girls in education. As per a survey, only 12.4% of female population in India in the age group of 15-19 has primary schooling.

Thus, this school endeavours to bring equal educational opportunities and facilities for girls and boys at a minimum fee. This is a first of its kind school in Ghazipur where girls are also encouraged to get enrolled. Surya Sen, the founder, has initiated a fundraiser on Ketto to set up the first public library in the district. He hopes and strives for the library to bring about a social change in the favour of education of the girl child. So far, Surya has raised ₹3,97,045 with 70 supporters for his cause and we hope for him to reach his goal.

Sunshine For Nikita!

nikita lawyer

When it comes to educating the girls, it’s not just the rural population that bears the brunt. Differently abled people also struggle to receive education. In this regard, there is an interesting account of Nikita Shukla. Nikita, who is completely blind, is a voracious reader and good in academics.

However, her parents were not keen on educating her further, due to her disability. She won a contest conducted by Radio City. While she was at the radio station to collect her reward, she told her story to RJ Sucharita Tyagi. Moved by her story, Sucharita decided to start a fundraiser on Ketto and that’s how her dream of getting into a college got funded! Her beautiful gesture got over Rs. 5 lakh in the first few hours itself and that landed Nikita in a Law college in Navi Mumbai!

Flying High!

shweataa

Apart from inclusion of tribal children and girl population in education, another issue is inclusion of children of sex-workers. The occupation of their parents forever marks a stigma on these innocent children who live their life with minimum opportunities to improve their future. However, strong will, hard work and goodwill can do wonders for anybody. This has been proven by the story of Shweta Katti from Mumbai.

Shweta, a daughter of a Mumbai based sex-worker was the first woman from Mumbai’s red light district area, Kamathipura to have completed her basic schooling and gone overseas for higher education. Her dream turned into reality by MTV’s fundraiser on Ketto which gathered ₹6,21,550 for sponsoring her living expenses overseas till the completion of her course.

Education is a fundamental right of every individual in our country. However, there’s still a long path to traverse for this to become a reality for every child. Crowdfunding Platform is one initiative in this direction and we hope to bring a bigger change with this by making education available for one and all.

Want to raise funds? Start a fundraiser. Need help? Write to info@ketto.org or get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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/

http://www.thebetterindia.com/62012/srinagar-kashmiri-pandit-last-rites/

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!

Three-Time Cancer Survivor Who Also Lost Her Parents To Cancer Shares Her Story



The fourth guest of Podcast MD by Ketto was Smriti Shivdasani. Smriti lost her mother to cancer and 8 years later, she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer. Having lost both her parents to cancer, Smriti began questioning everything in her life. In Jan 2019 she was diagnosed with 4th stage cancer. She had already been through 2 bouts of cancer in 2012 and Jan 2018 affecting different parts of her body. But she put up a fight again and survived cancer the third time. She believes it was because of her Buddhist practices that imparted her with the strength to sustain the will to live. She believes that it is important to let go of all the negativity and judgments to heal the body from diseases. She says she blended a bit of Hooponopono, a Hawaiian healing technique with Jin Shin Jyutsu, the Japanese art of balancing the meridian along with Donna Eden’s methods of balancing energies to set her body on the path to recovery. Here is an edited excerpt from our conversation with Smriti:

Tell us about your struggle against cancer

In Jan 2019 I was in a situation where I basically had 4th stage cancer. I had already been through 2 bouts of cancer (2012 and Jan 2018) affecting different parts of my body. Being diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer was a devastating experience. However, I managed not to succumb to despair. My 15 years of Buddhist practice and 5 years of training as a professional in the field of life transformation held me up. Over the course of the next 8 months, I chose to honor myself, my body, my life through the choices I made in my words, thoughts and deeds and eventually the effects started accumulating. My recent tests revealed that the tumors had shrunk and not active anymore. I have realized that illness is a wake-up call that we must pay heed to.

How do you think you were able to cope up with cancer?

I think cancer is a call to love. Having lost both my parents to cancer and then being diagnosed with cancer myself, I was in a state of despair. I asked myself ‘how much more do I have to put up?’. How I was able to cope up with cancer at such a fast pace is because I was not dealing with it alone. My friends rallied around me and were a constant source of support. I also believe that attitude makes a lot of difference in recovering quickly. I don’t think my body wanted to live with me. I was so obsessed with my work that my body was overworked. And that was a big call, the realization that I needed to rest and take care of myself. I realized that I wasn’t taking care of myself because I didn’t have a sense of love for myself and that was a wake-up call.

How are you currently living with the realizations from your cancer experience?

Having explored multiple careers after my post-graduation degree in Businesses Management, my life took another direction when I saw Cancer at close quarters, losing my parents to it and going through it personally. My never-give-up attitude led me to explore the field of alternative healing. Little did I know that I was stepping into what I was truly born to do: facilitating change by empowering people. I now invest my time in facilitating Access Consciousness workshops, conducting coaching and mentoring programs, and working with people on a one-on-one basis.

What were the symptoms you felt before the onset of cancer?

I never thought that the constant headaches, the frequent colds and back pain were a way of my body trying to give me information. I believe our body has a tendency to lock up everything that is projected on us by the people around us. It keeps a score of the trauma and all the experiences we face. It’s a concept in Buddhism too wherein we are a product of our thoughts, deeds and words. In my case, every bitterness, ache and hurt was manifesting itself as a disease.

How do you think one should cope-up with all the stressors of modern life?

Let go. Let go of everything that makes you unhappy, bitter, and resentful. Let go of your negative point of views, habits, and judgments. These destroy your body. Look at life from a different perspective. Life is beautiful if we allow it to be. And laugh as laughter heals.