Author - Ketto
“Kahwa Speaks” is a movement by Pragnya Wakhlu that aims introducing the world to the hidden facets of Kashmiri culture and helps preserving the language by means of a live audio-visual tour and story-telling. This comprises an experimental Kashmiri-English album which will be released globally on 16th July 2017 and an audio-visual element and tour for which we are raising funds.
“Kahwa Speaks” is not just an album but is the start of a global movement. It has been a long standing dream of mine that has been crafted over a period of research for the last 3 years that is finally coming to fruition by the grace of the almighty.
Born in Srinagar and raised in Pune, I have been a Kashmiri that has lived out of the state but one has a strong connection with my roots.We grew up in a time when we would share laughter and old folk tales over cups of Kahwa at our grandparents homes (who still live in both Srinagar and Jammu).
Kashmir has often been a misunderstood state as there is a lot of media attention on the violence in the state. There is so much about Kashmiri culture, traditions and music that remain concealed from the public eye. A lot of people that moved out of Kashmir and the generations after them have never been there and never visited.What these generations know about Kashmir is what they have heard from their parents or what they read in the media.
My endeavour with this album is to help audiences (both Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri) across the world to experience Kashmir for what it inherently is – a rich cultural state. To be introduced to the finer nuances of our culture and history through an experiential show involving live music , visuals ,story telling and Kahwa(Kashmiri tea). It is also an attempt at preserving the Kashmiri language by creating memorable songs that pique people’s interest in learning the language.
The original lyrics and compositions are aimed at spreading the message of peace and unity, strictly keeping away from any political agendas.
The six songs on the album which are in Kashmiri and have English translations are a mix of contemporary takes on the poems of Lal Ded and Habakhatoon , the traditional Wanwun and also some of my original compositions. The music is more contemporary with a slightly folky sound to create musical renditions that are a reflection of how most of us grew up..with diverse modern influences,yet holding a strong connection to our roots.
The album also features a song “Burning Fire” which is in Tibetan and English for which a music video has already been released. The song aims to bring awareness to the oft ignored and very critical issue of self immolations in the Tibetan community and their struggle to preserve their identity .This is a cause I feel really strongly about and felt the relevance of including it in this album for several reasons.
To test out audience receptivity to the concept, I previewed an audio visual show of the songs using photographs as background visuals (on a smaller scale) at the Kumaon Literature festival . Here, it was well received by prominent journalists and authors from the nations literary circuit. I further went on to do smaller shows “Kashmir through a musical Lens” at the Gyaan Adab Cultural center (Pune) and “Conversations over Kahwa” at Depot 48 Delhi. The audience at all the cities was very receptive of the concept and that encouraged me to take this to a higher level and at a much larger scale with your help.
Debut Album – Journey to the Sun (2012)
Singles: Kal Nahin Aata (2010)
Ok Listen: https://www.oklisten.com/album/kal_nahi_ata
I Let Go (2015): https://www.oklisten.com/album/i_let_go_party_mix
Burning Fire (2016)
Music Video for ‘Burning Fire’ featured on Vh1 and Rolling Stone
Music Video for Breast Cancer Awareness movement with NGO Yes to Life “Feeling Alive”
Music Video for Rise from “Journey to the Sun”
This project is an amalgamation of modern music with traditional Kashmiri. Since the songs are both in Kashmiri and English, one of the possible risks is part of the community mistaking my efforts as a “dilution” of Kashmiri culture. There are often purists that believe that translating songs into English is a form of dilution. I feel on the contrary that if one has to reach out to global audiences where one wants people to understand the meaning behind the music, one needs to communicate in a language familiar to them. The music is also a reflection of who I am as a person..a combination of diverse influences grounded in my roots. Hence I have adopted and stuck to my current approach.
The other challenges are of course monetary – being able to raise enough funds to finish the visual experience part of this project, pay the collaborators on this project the fee they deserve and tour successfully with the band to take this to every city we can. I hope to be able to raise this money with your goodwill and blessings.
The album and music video for ‘Burning Fire’ (the first single off the album) , an entirely self –funded effort has been released on Vh1 and Rolling Stone (digitally) exclusively as is on You-tube. It has garnered airplay and praise internationally as we took great care to create a high quality video that sends the message we were trying to get across without compromising. We adopted a very D.I.Y. approach to making this video thanks to the support of friends
The album has been recorded and mixed in Delhi,Mumbai and Pune. We have some very fine musicians and engineers from India and internationally working on this project. Hafod Mastering (U.K) has mastered the tracks for us and they are sounding pretty powerful. The album will be digitally released in association with Songdew’s Fresh Music campaign on global platforms in July 2017. The band is doing a launch gig in Delhi on the 22nd of July.
We plan to use the money raised from this campaign to put the visual pieces of the tour together and then embark on a 5 city audio-visual experience tour in India covering Delhi-Pune-Mumbai-Bangalore and Chennai. We will further take the show to as many cities in India as we can. We also plan to take this show globally to other countries (USA, South East Asia) and spread the movement to as many countries as we can afford to travel to.
We will also release one music video with the money raised from this campaign by the end of this year.
I am an independent artist and am very passionate about the work I do. I believe with all my heart in the power of music and story telling because I have seen it spark moments of inspiration, transformation and create sheer magic.
Unfortunately, the music scene in India today is still very bollywood oriented and one doesn’t end up earning a lot of revenue from live shows if you perform original music.One can either choose to go commercial and compromise , or then rely on the goodwill of people like yourself who are aligned with the same vision for our community.
The entire album Kahwa Speaks has been a self funded effort where I have invested my own savings. The content for the album has been put together after years of research and we have a great team working on it.
We would like to make this movement a world class experience and not compromise on the quality. This is something that would only be possible with your help. A chance for you to be a part of a big movement.. of the people by the people and for the people.
We are in the midst of a volatile time . While art is not always a solution to problems of such an intricate nature, what we hope to achieve with this movement is to bring forth moments of inspiration and an artistic experience, where people can choose to rise above their political agendas for some time and unite and understand the richness of a culture .
You can be a part of this movement…you can help create change..It starts with one person and then snowballs forward. We believe in the power of community united for a cause.
When I truly believe in something, I give it all my heart and soul and work with integrity. My previous track record has proven the same.I promise that the funds you contribute will be put to use only towards making this movement a reality and for us to spread the message of unity and culture across the world.
The “Kahwa Speaks” album has been a group effort and would not have been possible without the hard work of the numerous people involved. The album has been produced by Vinay Kaushal (Musicians Institute) my dear friend,bandmate and Fender and Ernie ball endorsed guitarist and musician
The songs were initially arranged with the band comprising of Manoj Mavely(Drums), Shailendra Wakhlu (Guitar), Sonic Shori (Bass), Shubhanshu Singh (Guitar) and Pragnya Wakhlu (Vocals, Guitar, lyrics,composition, arrangement)
The album features the following artists:
Gandhaar Amin(Flute), Praashekh Borkar (Sarod), Vinay Kaushal (Guitars), Sanjay Joseph (Guitars), Sonic Shori (Bass) and Nikhil Bidwalkar (Santoor)
Burning Fire mixed by Puneet Samtani. All other songs mixed by Vinay Kaushal.
Mastering: Gethin John (Hafod Mastering U.K.)
The album will be released by Songdew Network and will be available across all major music platforms (Apple music, Google play music, Spotify , Amazon Music etc)
Visuals and Video Team
Divya Gopalan: Founder director of Gunpowder Studios, Mumbai and director of the music video for Burning Fire, Divya Gopalan’ s captivating visual story telling has a way of connecting with people’s hearts and sending across a powerful message. An NID graduate, Divya was the Rocket Award winner at the Promax World Awards held in Los Angeles (2010) and brings with her numerous years of work experience working with leading clients across the industry. Divya will be directing a music video for the album.
Daksh Jain : With a Masters in Experiential design from NIFT, Daksh is the creative force behind the album artwork conceptualization and design. Daksh and his team of designers will be working behind the visual element of the show, creating a visual story board and animated content.
Hemant Grover: A creative photographer and an aspiring young music producer and Hemant Grover is the man behind the photographers lens . His avant-garde ideas and creative video editing contribute to making the photography and videos have great recall value.
The Travelling Band
The travelling band will comprise of
Manoj Mavely (Drums) : Ex-Berklee School of Music alumni and Director of Musictek School of Music and Manoj Mavely will be the force behind the drums.
Shailendra Wakhlu (Lead Guitars): With over 20 years of experience teaching and playing the guitar Shailendra’s intricate sense of harmony and melody contribute to the bands solid sound.
Danik Ghosh (Bass) : Danik Ghosh a talented bassist and keen learner associated with with various acts around the city such as Run! It’s the kid, The CopyCats, Prabhtoj Singh and others,
Pragnya Wakhlu (Rhythm guitar an Vocals): I guess I’ve talked about myself enough already:P
If you or anyone you know, is an Artist, go ahead and start a fundraiser on Ketto.
Reach us : http://www.solarmobilmanipal.in/
- Aesthetic sedan-type design.
- Real-time updates for the driver.
- Two motors for increased power.
- Emergency and Parking brakes for safety.
- Wiring as per ARAI regulations.
- Built India’s first family passenger solar electric car
- Well established solar car project in India
- Tremendous social media and print media outreach.
We are raising money to build OpinionX, a medical intelligence platform that protects you against commercial health practices & honest medical practitioner errors.
Good health is more important than anything else in our lives. If something happens to our health, there are advanced medical procedures available to take care. But how do you know your first diagnosis is correct or if there is a better or less expensive treatment?
Research indicates, 62% of second opinion cases resulted in major changes to first recommended treatments, saving many from huge costs & also their lives.
How it works?
In 3 simple steps – upload scans, lab reports & first opinion document given by your doctor. OpinionX will give you the best possible second opinion within 72 hours.
OpinionX give the ‘Second Opinion’ by combining the diagnosis of 4 best doctors from around the globe and our artificial intelligence engine that analyzes the case in context to 100s of similar cases – Thus giving a best possible ‘Second Opinion’ you can confidently trust.
How we are unique?
1. Our panel consist of the best doctors in their respective fields, from around the world. We give patients an easy access to them though OpinionX
2. Instead of a ‘Second Opinion’ from a single doctor, we combine expertise of 4 specialist doctors & input from our artificial intelligence engine. This benefits in eliminating error and providing an accurate ‘Second Opinion’ every time.
3. The consolidated approach not only gives you the best possible opinion but also gives rise to life saving alternate treatments.
Team & Panel of Experts building the product-
How your contribution will help us?
We are working with specialist doctors & experienced programmers to complete the development of our platform. Your contribution will help us,
1. Fast track the development of our powerful technology
2. Overcome regulations & legal formalities
3. Launch the product at the earliest
Tentative launch date & Disease category coverage
We plan to launch our platform by October 2017 & OpinionX will offer ‘Second Opinions’ for Cancer, Cardiology, Neurology & Orthopedic ailments.
1.What is a ‘Second Opinion’?
A second opinion is when a doctor other than your primary treating doctor gives you his or her view about your health problem and how to treat it. It can help you make a more informed decision about your disease.
2.What is conslidated opinion?
Instead of one doctor, a panel of expert doctors together give a refined and accurate opinion by judging all the pros and cons identified by combining Human & Artificial Intelligence.
3.What will be our tentative response time?
Within 72 hours
Please support us in building a life changing technology that helps everyone save time, money by avoiding wrong diagnosis & take informed health decisions.
If you or anyone you know, who has an innovative idea, go ahead and start a fundraiser on Ketto.
Thank you for your interest in this fundraiser. We are SauraMandala, a group of like minded people who intend on picking up causes that bring about long lasting change and impact into society.
Find us on Facebook at – www.facebook.com/sauramandala.in
As our pilot project we aim to
‘Provide a reliable solar grid to power smart classrooms at Haji Public School,Breswana’.
Haji Public School is located in Breswana, a high altitude agrarian Himalayan village in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The school caters to the students in the region and surrounding villages and currently educates about 350 first generation learners in its three branches. The school runs a successful volunteer program to be able to impart education to the students.
Why Breswana and Haji Public School?
– We have been previous volunteers at the school and have faced all the problems first hand. It is also our personal effort to give back to the school and village.
More details at www.hajipublicschool.org
What is SauraMandala?
-SauraMandala is a group of people who want to be the change they want to see.
– Right now it is three people
Nagakarthik – Electrical engineer by education, ex-volunteer at Haji Public School and has experience with solar energy for remote communities and regions for about 2 years now.
Prateek – Computer Science engineer by education, ex-volunteer at Haji Public School and is extremely passionate about societal development.
Keerthi – Mechanical engineer by education, ex-CISCO and is an avid traveler with his heart set on bring about change in society.
More at www.facebook.com/sauramandala.in
What is the scope of the project?
– To provide a solar powered grid at each of the three branches of Haji Public School.
– To setup smart screens with educational content to aid volunteers and local teachers in classrooms.
What challenges will you be addressing?
– To address the lack of dependable electricity to light up classrooms and run labs due to the terrain, weather and power cuts.
– To aid the volunteers to use audiovisual aids in classrooms to explain concepts better to these kids who have had limited exposure to the world outside.
– To introduce the kids to the internet and experiential learning.
What are the challenges you will face?
– Breswana is not connected by road, this makes it difficult to transport materials, all the components will have to be transported on horseback or carried up.
Isn’t it cold there, will solar panels work?
– The region receives abundant sunlight during the months that the school is operational ( March to December)
How will I know where my money is going?
– We believe in complete transparency and will follow the same for the project. There will be frequent updates both from our end and the school to keep us accountable. We are happy to address any concerns that you may have, please feel free to contact us. You can find a rough breakup of costs here.
Is this a one time gig?
No. We plan to learn from this project and replicate it in different regions. We also plan to expand to more community level projects in the regions that we work in.
Why don’t you approach a corporate sponsor instead?
We would love to work with a mix of corporate and individual sponsors for our projects, we believe that joint efforts will have more impact. If you are a corporate who shares the vision and want to get involved, please contact us, we would love to work with you.
We are proud to announce our campaign partner Tespack, from Spain. Do check them out, they have some amazing products and have done some stellar work in different parts of the world.
If you or anyone you know, who is struggling to pay for their education, go ahead and start a fundraiser on Ketto.
I am looking to raise funds to support the NGO ‘Just For Kicks’ program of imparting life skills through football, for 100 girls in the Dharwad district of Karnataka. ‘Just For Kicks’ in partnership with Enabling Leadership Foundation(ELF) is already running a pilot across 8 villages in Dharwad and witnessing phenomenal results with the girls becoming increasingly self-aware and confident through a game that’s been tainted as being a boy’s sport. With the football at their feet, these girls are now starting to dream big and question the status quo. Inspired by this progress, I am now looking to spearhead the expansion of ‘ Just For Kicks’ programming in rural Karnataka with the vision of reaching 100 more girls by next year.
Program cost for one child over one year: 6500 Rs / 100$. This cost includes: 48 training sessions, Training Gear For Each Child – Studs, Shinguards, Jerseys, Orientation Sessions For School and Parents, Participation in ‘Just For Kicks’ League games, Access to scouting opportunities and scholarships, Individual child and team assessment reports.
My piece in the puzzle:
Long before I fell in love with the cause of Just For Kicks, I fell in love with the beautiful game of football.
What I learned from football – Grit, Respect, Empathy, Courage, Teamwork, Leadership and most importantly Love. It is safe to say that Football has sculpted my personality in multiple ways. Growing up as a footballer and representing the Indian U-17 squad, I found myself feeling constantly underwhelmed by our facilities, resources and lack of support structures. Injuries bogged me down and I increasingly found myself fighting an uphill battle not just against the structures in place but also the culture around the sport. To that end, I fell prey to our failing sports/talent management system.
Having finished my engineering and working a run of the mill consulting gig for a year – I decided to fight back. I pursued the Teach for India fellowship and then completed my Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University with the hope of coming back to India to ensure that each child has the opportunity to play the beautiful sport and has the opportunity to take up the sport if he/she is passionate about it. As I look to champion the cause that ‘Just For Kicks’ has valiantly taken up, I realise that I need all the support I can get to fulfill the vision of reaching 1 million children by the year 2025 and making sure that no child falls through the cracks of our nation’s faltering sporting system.
Just For Kicks is a school intervention program working towards teaching children through a life skills-based football curriculum invaluable lessons of commitment, confidence, self-awareness, and grit. We work in the 5 Indian cities namely Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, and Chennai, and the rural district of Dharwad in Karnataka in schools catering to students from the bottom of the economic pyramid. We believe in #EveryonePlays and begin working with children, both boys and girls, as young as 7 years old and continue training with them till the age of 16, through an ongoing collaboration with their schools.
Enabling Leadership is a Netherlands-based non-profit organisation that uses innovative mediums of music and sports to foster valuable life skills of leadership, creativity, confidence and global citizenship among marginalised children who have limited or no access to high quality education systems.
Why Focus on Girls: Football acts as an equalizer where in once you step onto the pitch – gender, socioeconomic background, social class don’t matter. This pitch then becomes symbolic of a free society where in all are equals, thus affording a girl child to express herself, uninhibited by constraints of our society. This expression then translates into various values such as grit and confidence being built up in the girl child that nudge the society to view them as equals and subsequently create a cycle of systemic change led by a mentality shift.
Donate and be a part of the football revolution where girls will play alongside boys, and all students will receive equal opportunity irrespective of their gender and socioeconomic status.
If you or anyone you know, is struggling to pay to get trained in the sport they love, go ahead and start a fundraiser on Ketto.
“I’ve become so big now appa, I’m going to be in the second standard!”, I still remember how excited Karthi was. He smelled the pages of his brand new books while we were putting brown covers on them. It’s been three months since all his friends started going to school and my Karthi has been left behind. He has been to class only twice, that too because the medical certificate I carry everywhere couldn’t relieve him from that particular exam. The day we finished the registration process for his class, we also received his alarming reports, so we got him admitted the very next day.
Today my 7-year-old son has a swollen face, acidic stomach and dysfunctional liver because of a severe liver disease. With more than 50% of his liver not supporting his system, we need Rs. 25 lakh to save his life before it fails. He needs a liver transplantation in the first week of November. Every moment, the realisation of being far from the amount that’s required to save my baby’s life hits us and terrifies us. Please help me out – I don’t want to lose my son.
My name is Rajshekhar Nadar. I live with my wife, Karthi and my younger son. I deliver gas cylinders for a living and makes Rs. 25,000 every month. My wife takes care of the house and our children. I’m the only earning member of my family – no matter how many cylinders I deliver in the next month, we won’t be able to reach that number, not even in our dreams. The needles, the biopsies, the endoscopies, all are a stark reminder of how badly we want to see our son healthy and how much money that’s going to cost us.
Karthi’s health has been sensitive right from the start. When he was born, for the first ten months, everything was fine, but suddenly after that everything changed for the worse. He got fever and symptoms of what the doctors thought was jaundice. For almost a year, we spent Rs. 70,000 on his tests only to find out that this is a different kind of jaundice that needs attention from bigger hospitals. After a few more tests, the doctors at the Jaslok Hospital said that he’ll have to get checkups every 3 months till he becomes old enough to get a transplant. So it’s been over 6 years since we started taking rounds of hospitals and so far, we’ve spent a total of Rs. 1,48,000 for his check-ups, tests and medicines.
How we’ve arranged seems pretty unbelievable in retrospect. With God’s grace things have worked out for us so far. Relatives, company that my husband works for, parents, savings, we’ve stretched our hands in front of every source of help we could think of. But now we’ve exhausted everything. If we don’t get him operated in the first week of November, the risk level will rise and his liver may fail. We’re trying to sell our land back in our village in about Rs. 5 lakh but such deals take time to process. That’s the last option we’re left with. Where will I get the rest of the money for the transplantation from? It’s a scary question that I don’t know the answer to. Your support in the form of donations can help me pay for my child’s treatment.
Since the last 5 days, Karthi is in the hospital battling some of the worst symptoms of this horrible disease. His arms and legs are swollen. Sometimes his mouth starts bleeding even when he’s just talking. There are times when he wants to eat but he’s not allowed to. How can you say no to your own child when he cries and says he’s hungry? The glucose pipes inserted in his body are providing nutrition to his body right now. He’s restless all the time – he struggles to fall asleep at night. My wife and I are up all night telling him stories or singing him lullabies.
The most heartbreaking is keeping him away from the things he loves the most – playing with his friends and his school. There was a time when Karthi used to be silent only while sleeping. Otherwise, he would just run around the house and in the park throwing the ball around. When I see such a big difference in his behaviour, it’s really upsetting. He keeps asking us every now and then when he’ll be able to go to school. We have no answer to that right now because we don’t know when we can get him medically fit to attend school.
We’re just a few days away from our deadline. This transplantation could give Karthi the childhood that has unfortunately been lost in these hospitals. His mother and I really want to see him healthy and happy again. We would do anything to save his life. Unfortunately, after trying everything in our power, we’re still falling short of funds to afford the treatment that could change his life. We really need this – no 7-year-old deserves to spend most of his time lying in a hospital bed rather than a park or in his class.
If you or anyone you know, is struggling to pay for their medical treatment, go ahead and start a fundraiser on Ketto.
He had stars beaming in eyes, all positive for tomorrow, aspiring to be a name in the creative world, Pushpesh, followed his dream to become an actor and took on challenges he faced head-on while keeping a rejuvenating smile on his face, helping and supporting his family and friends along the way. Needless to say, he has faced many roadblocks and tragedies in his life with the amazing support from his wife, Darshna. Anyone who knows them can attest to the fact that they are made for each other and are the biggest support to each other. He has worked as a Radio Jockey (RJ) in Rainbow FM , Fever FM, and acted in various plays portraying difficult characters and bringing them to life.
How it all started
Pushpesh and his family were lately recovering from the loss of his father in a road accident, but fate had a greater challenge waiting for them ahead, he got diagnosed with acute leukemia one and half months ago and was advised by the doctors to be hospitalized as soon as possible. It came as a shock for all of us as he had always been extremely disciplined in his approach towards his lifestyle with proper diet & exercise regime in place.
Nothing came easy in life for Pushpesh but he always had a smile on his face while making everyone around him happy, no matter what. He worked hard with the able support of his wife and family to achieve what he has achieved today. But, like any of us, he also couldn’t have anticipated such a turn in his life when everything was just about to become better for both Pushpesh and Darshna. Life has again thrown a challenge in front of them and they are fighting it with all their might and will keep doing it until he comes back home with the same smile which he had when he went to the hospital.
In the initial stages of chemotherapy his recovery was very promising & his body was responding positively. Cancer cells in his blood were down to zero by third chemo session, but then came his bone marrow biopsy report which suggested that the cancer was still widespread in his bone marrow & bone marrow transplantation is the only option, for which the cost estimation is Rs.25 Lacs.
And it Escalated..
So he braced himself & got ready for high dose chemotherapy required before his bone marrow transplant. He underwent 5 high dose chemotherapy, a total of 8 doses till now, which completely depleted his immunity, making him highly prone to any kind of infections. Till now we were not aware that worst was yet to come, Pushpesh caught severe bacterial infection with persistent high fever impacting his lungs & kidneys. Doctors tried treating his infection in the his current surrounding only, but his situation kept on deteriorating, with injury to lung making it more difficult for him to breathe, he was then shifted to Advanced Critical Care Unit (ICCU) to be under continuous monitoring. Now, along with lung & kidneys, his gall bladder, liver & heart are also impacted, delaying his recovery and further treatment.
How can you help?
Whom we had imagined to be performing on silver screen is lying muted, ribboned in gloomy green robe, each second fighting like a warrior to live for another second. Help us bring few more strokes of cheerfulness in lives of those who know Pushpesh. While Pushpesh is fighting this brave battle with such low immunity, we request you to help us in supporting him financially. His family has already spent 18 Lacs on his treatment which includes their savings and insurance & with the pace of his recovery he will have to spend more time in ICU which will cost him 15 Lacs more. Adding to that Doctors have given an estimate for bone marrow at 25 Lacs, the total costs mounts up to around 60 Lacs. They are falling short by 50 lacs.
We would urge anyone and everyone to extend their helping hand in betterment of a person who will continuously make this world a better place. Any contribution you make, big or small, will put us in your debt forever.
If you or anyone you know, is struggling to pay for their medical treatment, go ahead and start a fundraiser on Ketto.
My son always said, “Fight till the very end and give it your all, so that you can face your own self”. I try to live every moment by these words.
Deepak, my 28-year-old son, has been a constable with the Mumbai Police for six years now. Right from his childhood, he was passionate about serving the country and its people; so, we weren’t surprised when he decided to appear for the IPS examination. He’s the bravest person I know; never thinks twice before helping someone in need. Whenever I visit Mumbai, his seniors and friends at the police station always have the nicest things to say about him – he makes me so proud.
Today, my brave and tough son has lost all sense of who he is. About 10 days ago, I saw him trying to bite the flesh off of whoever came near him, even as four of his closest friends struggled to tie him to the ambulance bed. Do you know how terrifying it is to see your grown-up son behave like that? I was so horrified, I could barely move.
My son Deepak Patil is suffering from end-stage liver disease and Hepatitis B. I’m sharing this because after trying everything in my capacity, we’re now in desperate need of funds to keep my son alive. He’s unconscious and breathing with the help of machines. To save his life, we need to arrange an early liver transplant. It will cost us a total of Rs 22 lakhs.
I’m Ananda Patil, Deepak’s father. My family consists of my wife, three daughters, and one son. Deepak’s salary was our only constant source of income; he made about Rs. 15,000 every month. Since this disease got the better of him, that has stopped coming in too.
In fact, Deepak had just started a new chapter in his life: he had been married for only a year before this disease caught him. Sometime in July this year, he started turning yellow and developed a fever. He lost his appetite; he just wouldn’t eat and even had trouble sleeping. Finally, we had no choice but to take him to the hospital. After a few tests, the doctors explained what had happened. Deepak’s liver had failed and he needed a replacement at the earliest.
I didn’t know how to respond at first. We come from a small village in Kolhapur, and it’s difficult for me to understand the ways or people of this city. With Deepak now lying on the hospital bed, I feel directionless and overwhelmed. Every day there’s a new bill to account for – either for medicines, or the machines, or the hospital. I hope no father goes through this gut-wrenching pain and helplessness. We have no resources left but for the kindness of strangers.
Deepak has always been in everyone’s good books. I say that because most of the funds that we’ve spent on his treatment have come from well-wishers and friends. When we explained Deepak’s situation to one of his close friends, he gave an entire month’s salary to us without batting an eyelid. I wish I could tell Deepak how he was helping me, despite being in such a bad place. We’ve spent over Rs. 1 lakh so far. I’ve sold all that my land has produced, but, it’s nowhere close to the amount we need. Our last resort now is help in the form of donations from kind people who read our story.
A few days ago, amidst all this despair, the doctors at Jupiter Lifeline Hospitals gave me a ray of hope. One of my daughter’s has a blood type that matches Deepak’s, and they believe she can become a donor. When we asked her if she’s willing to do this, her only response was, “I’ll do whatever it takes to save my brother’s life”.
Now that god has finally showed us the way, everything depends on how fast we arrange the funds for the transplant. A simple man like me cannot even dream of accomplishing this by myself.
The world needs more people like my son. Please help me save his life by donating to his fundraiser page on Ketto.org. It would mean everything to my family.
If you or anyone you know, is struggling to pay for their medical treatment, go ahead and start a fundraiser on Ketto.
“Your power levels have gone down. This tube you see will take the dripping power liquid inside your body so you can become strong again like Chhota Bheem.” Since I’ve told my 4-year-old son Rudra this, he flexes his tiny, needled arm every night before sleeping. I’ve tried different ways to answer his innocent questions and he seems to have liked this the most. I don’t have the strength or courage to tell my son that the reason he’s going through such painful tests and skipping school is the six lettered disease the world dreads – cancer.
I’m Dinesh Pote, a freelance gym trainer by profession. I live with my wife and two children in a small chawl in Chembur. A good month for me is earning Rs. 6,000 from the clients that I have. There are times when I struggle to find even one. Right now, I’m holding a medical bill in my hand that states that my son has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and the treatment will continue for 2-3 years costing me at least Rs. 12 lakhs which includes treatment and postoperative costs. It’s like the sky came crashing down. Both cancer and the cost to save my son’s life have left my family devastated. My inability to pay for my son’s treatment can cost me his life. How will I live with myself if my son dies because I failed to pay on time? Your support in the form of donations can help me save my son’s life.
One unfortunate afternoon, I got a frantic call from Rudra’s teacher informing us that he has collapsed in the school. When we went to pick him up, he was running a temperature and he was limping while walking. On our local doctor’s advice, we got an X-ray done. All the reports were normal but Rudra continued to limp, we thought it must have been the after effect of the fall.
A few days later, while attending an aarti during Ganesh Chaturthi, I noticed a black coloured spot on his forehead. In a few days, these spots started spreading to other parts of his body, some even looked like blood clots. We got worried and rushed him to the nearest hospital run by a trust. After a few tests, the doctors explained that Rudra has blood cancer and it was curable provided I get the treatment started at the earliest. The treatment and other expenses cost were a whopping Rs. 12 lakh. Since that day, every thought I have is around arranging this amount so I can save my son’s life.
The first few days at the hospital were extremely difficult for us. Rudra went through a series of painful tests – most of them would end with him screaming in pain, begging us to take him home. It was such a painful sight, his mother would often start crying too. When I saw Rudra’s arm at night, my heart broke. I decided to shift him to the Hinduja Hospital in Mahim immediately – his arm had turned purple and black because of the constant needling. I’m glad I made that decision because the tests my son undergoes are not painful anymore. After his experience at the trust, Rudra has developed a fear of needles, he starts crying when he sees doctors holding syringes. I can see that’s changing now – at a very slow pace but it is.
So far, I’ve spent over Rs. 1.5 lakh on tests, medicines, and hospital charges. I mortgaged my wife’s mangalsutra and got about a lakh because of that. I’ve received the rest from running to trusts that help families of patients that can’t afford medical treatment on their own. But I haven’t come close to the amount I need to pay. I’ve written to many trusts already but I’m yet to hear from them. I don’t have a lot of time. Now my only hope is getting donations from people who read my story.
Since the last couple of days, things have changed dramatically for Rudra. He’s come from his classroom bench to a hospital bed, from being around his friends to being around nurses, doctors, and other patients. The doctors explained that he’s at a high risk of infection so we make sure everything is dust free. My Rudra is a smart child. Often he reminds me to use the sanitizer when I come near him. He says “Baba how can you touch me before sanitizing your hands?”. He’s very co-operative for a 4-year-old. I try to keep things normal for him. He loves to colour so I ensure there’s always a colouring book at his bedside.
Rudra needs to get his treatment done before cancer gets worse. I haven’t managed to gather any more money. The thought of losing my child haunts me when I’m sleeping and when I’m awake I have two children who look at me like I’m their hero. My younger daughter is always wondering where everyone is since my wife and I spend most of our time in the hospital. I just want to see Rudra healthy and happy again.