Author - Ketto

About Ketto

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

Here are my most recent posts

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?


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

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

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

Assam Floods, lower Assam worst

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

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

Circulate these emergency contact numbers

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

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

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

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

When you spot an astray animal of Kaziranga National Park:

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


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 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

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 ( 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, a Delhi-based legal advice startup, Mr Sarup offered her free legal aid and started a campaign on 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 !


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.

S1E3: IIM Alumnus Dimple Parmar Shares Her Journey As A Caregiver To Her Husband Who Died Of Colon Cancer

Podcast MD by Ketto with Kunal Kapoor Season One’s third episode featuring- Dimple Parmar (Founder – Love Heals Cancer and Wife & Caregiver of Late Nitesh Prajapat Shares Her Journey After Losing Her Husband To Colon Cancer.

Podcast MD by Ketto’s third guest is Dimple Parmar, the founder of Love Heals Cancer. Nitesh Prajapat and Dimple Parmar got married after they discovered that he had Stage 4 colorectal cancer. They launched Love Heals Cancer in January 2018 to provide support, information, and services to help people in their battle against cancer. A tribute to her late husband Nitesh, Love Heals Cancer is a non-profit organization that focuses on helping cancer patients live longer and better lives. Dimple and Nitesh’s journey started in IIM Calcutta where both of them were grad students. An alumnus of IIT-Kanpur and studying in IIM-Calcutta, Nitesh had founded Appeti, a curated online marketplace. While completing his MBA in 2016, he met Dimple, who was working on her own startup, Zaple, at the campus. They quickly connected and became good friends. Nitesh was diagnosed with cancer after he went for a checkup for severe back pain and constipation. Dimple talks about all the difficulties Nitesh had to go through during chemotherapy and cancer treatment including the side effects of treatment that wreaked havoc on his physical health. Dimple believes it’s important for caregivers to distribute their responsibilities of taking care of the patient to avoid burn-out. In his final days, Dimples opens up about how Nitesh transformed completely as a person and was more cheerful than ever before. She attributes the positive changes to a strong support system Nitesh had in the US, alternate healing practices, and a complete change in his diet. Here is an edited excerpt from our conversation with Dimple:

How and when did you guys find out about cancer?

We became friends after I met Nitesh during the time when we were both working on our start-ups. I didn’t find him much friendly but it all changed when he came back after a 3-month break. He also started getting sick more often and complained about severe back pain and constipation. After the doctor recommended a biopsy, it was found that he had Colon Cancer. This came as a shock to both of us. It was hard to accept that a young man who is very active, seemingly healthy, will have to fight against cancer. Spontaneously, I became his primary caregiver as he underwent Radiation Therapy followed by surgery. He was broken, but managed to rise above the initial shock, and, with his family’s support, started treatment. He approached his health condition in a logical manner, believing there was a solution to every problem.

How did you guys decide to get married?

Over the course of treatment, I began to develop a kind of empathy for him. He was a smart, intelligent, ambitious young man. He was a very good human being. I wanted to fight his battle with him. Nitesh moved to Mumbai for treatment and then came back to college in Calcutta after some months. That is when we decided to move in together. We got to know about each other more and more, and we fell in love. Nitesh underwent surgery. He was under continuous treatment and had numerous cycles of chemotherapy, while we were still in college. One day, he expressed his love for me and asked me if I would marry him. I said ‘yes’. On the day of our graduation in 2017, we got engaged on the campus in Tata Hall 213. We got married in August and seven days later, moved to the US to participate in clinical trials.

What was Chemotherapy and Cancer Treatment like?

Cancer eats away the physical and mental health of not only the one affected by it, but also the patient’s loved ones. The treatment was filled with interventions, including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. And later when nothing worked, we opted for clinical trials. Just when we thought we had defeated the dreaded disease, a post-treatment scan in June showed that the disease had metastasized to his lungs, pelvis, and other abdominal areas. There were a total of 12 tumors. I saw Nitesh suffer immensely as he was undergoing treatment. I want to share with you the taboo that exists around cancer in our society and how ingrained it is in our minds. When Nitesh was told that as part of the surgery procedure, he would have to be fitted with a ‘poop bag’, he was so ashamed that he didn’t even want to undergo the surgery. He was willing to die than have a ‘poop bag’ attached to his body.

Chemotherapy was worse. When a person undergoes chemotherapy it affects them psychologically too. They want to withdraw into a shell. They become so sensitive that they get irritated by the slightest sound or even dim light. It’s due to a condition called neuropathy, a side-effect of cancer treatment where if a person is even touched, it feels like a current. Some weeks are okay but most are bad. The chemotherapy was so hard that Nitesh no longer had a problem with the ‘poop bag’.

Tell us something about your organization Love Heals Cancer?

Nitesh constantly pondered upon how millions of people suffer from cancer and how can we give them hope and support them through their journey. He was the epitome of strength and willpower, and in his last days, he redefined joy with his infectious smile. It was his wish that we help people undergoing similar circumstances and how Love Heals Cancer (LHC) started.

LHC is a community of patients, caregivers, survivors, volunteers, individuals, and organizations, dedicated to providing love and support to cancer patients around the world. Our primary aim is to help cancer patients and their caregivers to find extensive healing options and improve their quality of life. The core belief is that in addition to regular treatment, extending warmth, love and support to cancer patients can play a huge role in healing them. 

What was your experience as a caregiver during Nitesh’s cancer treatment?

I think it’s important for caregivers to distribute their responsibilities of taking care of the patient to avoid burn-out. Sometimes I would feel burned out because I wasn’t taking time for my own self and that’s something we all need to understand. You can only take care of someone when you are doing well yourself. Cancer treatment makes the patient overly sensitive. How you behave directly impacts them. So, if you feel burned out, it’s a good idea to distribute responsibilities among other family members or simply take some time off for yourself. Another thing I believe is that caregivers should undergo counseling because none of us knows by default how to take care of someone who is suffering from cancer. It helps to have someone who can help us understand our own emotions with respect to what is happening.

Podcast MD by Ketto on all the major platforms like Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, JioSaavn and Hubhopper. You can also find it on, our production partner.

Also, if you have a similar story you believe can be a source of inspiration for others, then you could be our next guest.

Write to us at

Let your story be heard…

DISCLAIMER: This podcast and its content is an intellectual property of Ketto Online Ventures Pvt Ltd and are subject to copyright. The views expressed are personal and with no intention to harm the sentiments of any individual/organization.

Podcast MD by Ketto S1E02: How A Writer Survived Cancer

The second guest on Podcast MD by Ketto, Sanjukta Sharma, is a journalist and writer based in Mumbai. She is also an ovarian cancer survivor. She has worked in various publications including The Indian Express, Tehelka and the Mint. At the start of 2017, Sanjukta quit her full-time job after feeling overworked. Her tiredness was accompanied by bloating and other symptoms of cancer. Her brother, who is also a doctor asked her to undergo a CT scan as a precautionary measure. After undergoing a CT scan, her doctor found nodularity along the lining of her uterus. She had to undergo a removal surgery, but while performing the surgery, her doctor found that the tumor was malignant.

In Jan 2018, she finished her Chemotherapy sessions and was declared cancer-free. Sanjukta, an advocate of Mistletoe therapy, believes that letting go is vital for the healing journey. She says it’s essential to spend time with one’s self in order to heal. She also recommends dietary measures that help with the recovery process, which includes limiting the intake of refined sugar and carbs. She believes that timely gene testing can help take preventive measures against gene mutations which can lead to cancer. Having undergone a tough time during her treatment, she has many insights regarding what challenges cancer patients have to face during treatment and how to tackle them.

During her cancer treatment, Sanjukta also underwent a lot of mental turmoil, including emotional outbursts and complete breakdown. During this time, her husband was constantly there by her side to take care of her. Knowing that it was also hard for her husband and what he went through during the course of the treatment, Sanjukta recommends that caregivers should also go through counseling so they know how to manage such a stressful situation. Interestingly, Sanjukta thinks that Chemotherapy wasn’t the hardest part of her treatment as the medicines the doctor gave her took care of the side effects caused by Chemotherapy. Personally, Sanjukta believes that the market for cancer treatment is huge with therapies available to patients, and to avoid getting tangled in multiple things one should simply choose one or two therapies and stick with them. She recommends reading the book ‘Longevity Diet’ to make a positive change in lifestyle and live a healthy life.

Sanjukta believes that there is a lot of shame around cancer, especially for women who also end up losing their hair during treatment. Given how much taboo exists around cancer in India, Sanjukta believes that patients need to be empowered. She also thinks that Doctors need to explain more to their patients as to how the treatment will affect the patient. Additionally, she believes the doctors should also be more receptive to their patients’ suggestions as they are the ones having to deal with the side effects and pain. At a personal level, Sanjukta feels every patient should try to spend more time listening to what their body is trying to tell them. “You have to be gentle with yourself,” she says.

Link to Podcast: Episode 2

Podcast MD by Ketto on all the major platforms like Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, JioSaavn and Hubhopper. You can also find it on, our production partner.

Also, if you have a similar inspiring medical story that you think can be a source of inspiration to others, please get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you on

Cancer Survivor’s Journey: How Award-Winning Filmmaker Defeated Cancer

Podcast MD by Ketto with Kunal Kapoor Season One’s first episode featuring – National award-winning filmmaker Teenaa Kaur Pasricha

The first guest of season one was Teenaa Kaur Pasricha, a National Award winning film-maker and screenwriter. Raised up in Ajmer, Rajasthan Teenaa was brought up in a middle class family.  Her documentary ‘1984: When the Sun didn’t Rise’ has won multiple awards in competitions across the world. ‘1984, When the Sun didn’t Rise’ is a documentary film that journeys into the Widow’s Colony of New Delhi where 3,000 widows and their families were resettled after the Sikh massacre of 1984. It tells the story of three brave women who fight for justice while negotiating personal trauma and earning a livelihood for their families. “I used to be very depressed while I was shooting, as I was absorbing the emotions of these women who were narrating their horrific experiences,” Teenaa says.  

For Teenaa, it was a difficult journey, but also a very fulfilling one as she got to know stories of countless women who were affected by what happened in 1984. Teenaa was awarded the prestigious fellowship in screen- play writing by Time Warner foundation supported Asia Society, New York for her first feature film screenplay “The Red Autumn” in 2013-14. She has worked with India’s largest Broadcaster, Zee TV as a Promo Producer and a Core team member of Trends Ad films on producing TV Commercials. Teenaa was diagnosed with Breast Cancer right before she came to know that her film had won a National film Award for ‘Best Investigative Film’ in 2018. Her doctor recommended her to receive the award after undergoing a surgery, which she did. Her Chemotherapy sessions began right after she received the award. 

One year later, she was sharing her experience with the audience at a TEDx event. Teenaa hopes to clear the Taboo that Breast Cancer is surrounded with. Teenaa is a firm believer in the power of Homeopathy, Ayurveda and raw food diet. She believes the combination of these three things helped her cope up with the side effects of chemotherapy and live a healthier life too. For her diet, she starting eating sprouts and switched rice with millets. She also wants to spread awareness about the taboo that exists around breast cancer in the Indian society where she believes people are still hesitant to talk about it. She is of the opinion that women need to get regular check-ups done, so that life doesn’t spring surprises on them.

Breast cancer awareness according to her is an important women’s health issue that unfortunately isn’t discussed publicly- something she believes must change. Overall, Teenaa had to undergo a combination of Radiation therapy, surgery and Chemotherapy. Radiation therapy was the easiest part of the treatment for her as it didn’t involve going through terrible side-effects like in the case of Chemotherapy. For Teenaa, cancer put her life in perspective as she was able to reflect on things that matter to her. “All the things that weren’t in my life completely disappeared from my mind,” she says. After finishing her cancer treatment which lasted for 6 months, Teenaa has started travelling more often, something she says brings fulfillment in her life. Teenaa’s journey of fighting cancer was an uphill battle but her strong and positive attitude allowed her to bounce back in life.

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