Tag - Bollywood

Nepal earthquake 2015: Ketto to the rescue

Magic of crowdfunding

In a situation of a natural calamity, when there’s barely anything left to conserve, we as humans have the power of unity. That’s the power which came into practice when the crowd (from all across the globe) came together in support of Nepal earthquake-hit victims and started fundraising campaigns on Ketto. With the help of more than 7500 backers in less than a month, ‘Save Nepal’ raised over a crore – making Ketto the highest single entity to raise funds for CARE INDIA, one of the NGOs to provide on ground help in Nepal.

Forces behind the success of Save Nepal disaster relief drive

As the massive earthquake of 7.8 magnitude on Richter scale ravaged the Himalayan country – Nepal on April 25, 2015, Bollywood actor and co-founder of Ketto – Kunal Kapoor flagged off the first campaign in collaboration with CARE INDIA to provide survival kits to the quake-hit victims. With the death toll rising every hour, panic increasing in Nepal, Kunal got others from the film industry too to start campaigns in order to raise financial support for the victims. The network grew and the campaign went viral. In three days, Ketto raised Rs.40 lakh.

It was a collective effort that made Suport Nepal drive a major success. Where Bollywood celebrities like Varun Dhawan, Dia Mirza, Alia Bhatt, Anushka Sharma, Gaurav Kapoor, Vir Das, Sraddha Kapoor were nailing it, corporates, NGOs and individuals used the fundraising platform and raised a whopping amount of over 80 lac by 10 May.

On ground help

Within a week of the tragedy, the relief drive had picked up, payments were cleared immediately so that CARE INDIA could reach the affected areas ASAP. It was the result of team effort that made CARE INDIA one of the first one to reach Gorkha for help. The funds raised were utilised toward providing the victims with medicine, shelter and rehabilitation, as well as kits, including -tarpaulin, mats, hygiene kit(soap ,toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary napkins & disinfectants soaps) and blankets.

It was a situation when any help was great help. Being our neighbour nation, Nepal received immense support from India. We remember constant communication with campaigners who wanted to raise funds and reach Nepal to provide help immediately. Such names include – Bouncy Mehtha, Rohan Shrestha, the famous photographers.

With such kind of support, the situation in Nepal seems to improve. In fact, we plan to gauge the impact first hand and ensure things have moved smoothly in Nepal.

Our pledge

Ketto has been thriving to make crowdfunding an easy and effective way of supporting each other financially. It’s situations like Nepal earthquake, Uttarakhand floods, Jammu and Kashmir floods, when we realise how important it is to stand in unanimity. We are a nation, we are united, Ketto is just a medium to bring you all together.

We pledge to amass maximum support for your cause – be it disaster, social, technical, educational, personal. We are just a mail away. (info@ketto.org)

If nature has the power to destroy, we have the power to conserve. Together, let’s conserve humanity and kindness.

How Crowdsourcing is changing the content and narrative by supporting brilliant films and theatre!

Because, many of the so-called brilliant stories with a solid premise never make it to the heap of scripts reaching producers. While, other key issues such as women’s rights, LGBTQ issues or other sensitive topics barely make it to the mainstream art scenario, making it imperative for people to step in and crowdfund a project

Heard about LGBT-Themed short film called ‘Breathe’ asking in people to crowdfund their project?  The story of this film revolves around a father-son duo and the former’s paranoia towards his son’s effeminate traits. And now imagine, a mainstream producer actually investing in it. The chances are, almost negligible or somewhat miniscule because the story revolves around a niche target audience and a topic that has not yet broken into mainstream culture. Hence, crowdfunding steps in and gets the message of the premise out to people, asking them to contribute a little, if the idea resonates with them.

There are numerous themes, topics and ideas that need to be explored and narratives be told – These are the stories of our times and a brilliant idea needs capital for execution. We live in an era where mediocrity and contacts work better than a genuine concept or idea. Don’t believe us? Check out half the content Bollywood churns out, which would not even be worthy of reaching the trash. But billions are spent on these regressive films while good cinematic content usually gets lost in transition.

Even in theatre space, it is all about getting the financers on board and most of the investors prefer a commercial play with good return strategies than powerful scripts. But, crowdfunding acts as an equalizer in the webspace, letting people decide on what gets made and what doesn’t.

Themes around internal state wars or across different countries in the world, life in transit camps, environmental hazards, women rights, human rights, LGBTQ rights, systematic failure of education system etc are some of the key topics that could use some crowdfunding as many projects never see the light due to low budget and no financers.

The most interesting aspect about crowdfunding for films and theatre projects is the transparency that it offers. Every idea, project and concept comes under scrutiny from numerous quarters. People from all walks of life decide the validity of a concept and then make a call either to donate or move onto the next project. This definitely brings in validity to any project that reaches its crowdfunding targets.

For example, a feature length documentary called ‘Sirius’ was completely made on crowdfunded resources. The  movie revolves around an emergency room doctor turned UFO researcher trying to disclose secret information about energy and propulsion techniques. If you have sifted through Reddit or Tumblr, you will find more such innovative projects that are being made on crowd financing.

Usually, we tend to brush off projects, ideas or our dreams, when finances come into play. But, crowdfunding ensures that every story that is worthwhile gets its salt of time in the public domain before reaching execution. A rather gratifying experience for those who believe in the power of making their vision come true, with a little help from others.

So, the next time you have a brilliant idea, a novel concept and lack funds, do give crowdfunding a try. You may just be telling one of the most pertinent stories of our generation.

 

All you need to know about Ketto’s new offering ‘Experience’

While our country adapts to the concept of crowdfunding in full boom, Ketto makes it even cooler with the launch of a new section called ‘Experience’. As the reward-based crowdfunding platform – Ketto – blossoms on the public stage for getting a variety of causes funded, its new section aims at strengthening the funder base by offering exciting gifts in exchange of donations to the causes.

So, what exactly an ‘Experience’ is?

Basically, a campaigner’s chance to reward his/her backers with one-of-a-kind experiences, including – limited edition passes/tickets, autographed articles or copies of the creative work being produced.

Ketto’s Exclusive Experiences

Since its inception, Ketto has tried to make crowdfunding an exciting ride for its campaigners as well as backers. As much as the cause of a campaign matters, the exhilarating experience counts equally. Experience is just another way to multiply the goodness – in an action, for an action.

To give you a fairer idea, let’s have a walk back Ketto’s memory lanes:

  • The chance to promote ‘Bang Bang’ with Hritik Roshan for a day around Mumbai by donating INR 75,000 to a campaign by TIGI Foundation.
  • The chance to hang out with Aamir Khan on the sets of his last film ‘PK’ by donating INR 75,000 to an animal shelter welfare
  • The chance to work out with Imraan Khan or a spin in his Ferrari as a reward for donating INR 50,000 to TIGI Foundation

…and many others.

How can NGOs benefit from ‘Experience’?

As the revenue generated by nonprofit organsations is plugged back into projects and activities, costs offset. Marketing and selling their exclusive products as experiences could mean wider distribution of development material and diversification of revenue sources.

For the sustainable development of the society, an experience can be just another way of luring more backers to causes that need urgent attention. Celebrity gifts, mementos, gift vouchers, artwork or any other valuable product or service can be put as an experience on Ketto.

Many NGOs already produce and sell products, such as publications, publicity materials, and locally made handicrafts through traditional means of marketing and distribution. If the same NGO puts these articles/offers as experiences on our website, there are chances the NGO can reach a wider audience.

How does it work?

A backer can bag the experience by following the three steps as mentioned:

  • Type in www.ketto.org/experiences in the address bar
  • Choose your favourite experience from the list
  • Donate to the cause and bag the experience

Start exploring

To anchor this open-ended relationship between campaigners and their backers, the coherence of NGO offerings to backers can draw a greater contribution to social improvement.

Wait no more. List down the experiences now!

PS: Don’t fret if you can’t differentiate between a reward and an Experience. Team Ketto is always there to help.

The Year That Was (Highlights of 2014)

Review of year 2014

Catch the highlights of Ketto’s journey through the year 2014.

By co-founder and CEO, Varun Sheth

The year 2014 has been eventful, to say the least. We launched Ketto 2.0 in June 2014 and it’s been one milestone after the next since. The second half of year 2014 amazed us. Over 300 campaigns ran on Ketto this past year.  Over 6000 supporters rallied together from more than 20 countries to raise above Rs.2 crore for some awesome, heartfelt causes. There were some incredible campaigns that really showed the world what generosity of spirit is all about.

It’s been an incredible journey for Ketto. We saw a huge rise in individual participation, with people starting their own campaigns for social change. We also launched a new feature called the “microsite” which allows NGOs, events & corporates to run their own fundraising website on the Ketto platform.

We’ve rounded off the year with more amazing developments. Ketto has now opened its doors to creative projects. So artistes, musicians, filmmakers, creators of all kinds can now start crowdfunding their creative projects on our crowdfunding website. Talk about ending the year with a bang!

We can’t wait for 2015 to get started!

Here are just a few highs to remember 2014 by.

sportsSports

Indians came together to support their sportspeople. Several campaigns were run by and for Olympic Gold Quest and GoSports Foundation. Luger Shiva Keshavan, speed walker KT Irfan, rifle shooters Ayonika Paul and Pooja Ghatkar, discus thrower Vikas Gowda, para-athlete Rajni Jha and swimmer Supriyo Mondal are just some of the wickedly talented sportspeople who got the funds they needed to train and participate in the Winter & Youth Olympics, Asian games and commonwealth games! And yes, they won several medals along the way!

 

marathonsMarathons

There have been several marathons that campaigners have used to propel their social causes forward. Hyderabad Marathon, Bengaluru Marathon, Mumbai Marathon, Boston Heartbreak Marathon are just a few. Then there was Pinkathon, the marathon event that raised awareness for breast cancer. Several marathoners chose to start campaigns to raise both awareness and funds for breast cancer treatment. Footsteps4Good was another themed marathon that asked participants to fundraise for a social cause. Several participants chose to do it online on Ketto, much to our pleasure!

 

animal welfareAnimal Welfare

Our furry friends were not forgotten. TIGI Foundation ran an amazing campaign to build an animal shelter. The NGO pulled out all the stops by organizing a football event and promoting it with a campaign on Ketto. Bollywood stars like Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Imraan Khan and several others attended and played on the football field. All in support of TIGI’s fundraising campaign. What an event it was!

It wasn’t all glitz and glam though. NGO Alokparna Sengupat ran a campaign to protect animals from being needlessly sacrificed at Gandhimai, raising funds and awareness for the noble cause.

 

Womens EmpowermentWomen’s Empowerment

Women’s empowerment took a big step this year. The NGO YUWA joined forces with the channel Star Sports to help send a football team consisting of Jharkhand’s tribal girls to participate in the USA Cup. They ran multiple campaigns and promoted their cause on television as well. The result? Well, the girls went to the USA Cup and did India proud.

Khabar Lahariya, a rural-language newspaper run entirely by rural women, ran a massive 12th anniversary campaign to keep their groundbreaking newspaper going strong. Many individuals started campaigns in support of the newspaper, and their anniversary campaign certainly was a happy one!

 

kashmirDisaster Relief

The devastating Jammu & Kashmir floods saw Ketto spurring into action. We partnered with Care India and within minutes, help began to pour in from all corners of the globe. Celebrities like Hrithik Roshan, Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Bachchan, Kunal Kapoor, Dia Mirza and Nargis Fakhri began campaigns in aid of the flood victims. Fans of the celebrities rallied in support of their favourite actor’s campaign and some even began their own campaigns to support the cause further. The initiative showed the true spirit of our nation’s people.

 

healthHealth

Jasmeet Singh Gandhi ran an amazing campaign for the cause of childhood eye cancer. He called his campaign Umeed 1000, and chose to bicycle 1,000 kilometres from Mumbai to Bengaluru to raise awareness and funds to treat children affected by retinoblastoma (eye cancer). This incredible campaigner promoted his cause heavily and drew in seven corporate sponsors in addition to individual supporters. What a campaign this was!

 

educationEducation

The red light area and all its inhabitants may be taboo in polite society, but people sure did come together in support of a worthy cause. Shweta Katti, the daughter of a sex worker, had earned a scholarship to study at New York’s Bard University but needed funding for living and other expenses. Her campaign on Ketto got her all the funding she needed. This was a campaign that brought a young girl’s dream to life!

 

dcbEmployee Engagement & Hiring

Here are some heartwarming campaigns with Corporate Social Responsibility. DCB Bank used Ketto’s crowdfunding platform as a task for one of their recruitment rounds. Several prospective employees were given a deadline within which to raise as much as they could for the Jammu & Kashmir flood victims. A healthy competition with heart!

 

personalPersonal Causes

We had some fascinating campaigns run by people for their own noble causes. Like Bhakti Sharma, an open-water swimmer, who campaigned to raise funds to swim the Antarctica (the coldest ocean on Earth). There was also the campaign for teenage karate prodigies Bhavisha Singh, Sharmila Gharu and Divya Kathawate that gathered hundreds of supporters. The girls have won hundreds of medals but are still unknown. Logical Indian decided to campaign for the teenagers and hundreds of very logical Indians joined the effort too!

Then there’s Vivek Vashist’s memorable campaign. A Teach for India fellow, he planned to bicycle from Delhi’s India Gate to Mumbai’s Gateway of India to raise awareness about the environment and funds to participate in the International Antarctic Expedition. What an inspiration!

And the most endearing campaign of them all is for Vijayan and Mohanna, an elderly Kochi couple who owns a little tea stall. What is so inspiring about them is that they have travelled the world with the earnings they make. They take a loan to travel and then work the next three years to repay the loan. The news website The News Minute decided to campaign to help them visit the United States since their age is causing banks to reject loans. The campaign raised a good amount for the Kochi couple, and we wish them happy journeys!

 

Social EntrepreneurshipSocial Entrepreneurship

Aakar Innovations, a for-profit social enterprise founded by two young and passionate social entrepreneurs, began a brilliant campaign to raise awareness and funds for women’s empowerment. Their initiative involved not only educating underprivileged women on sanitary habits but teaching them how to make low-cost sanitary pads and promote sanitary awareness. A truly empowering initiative!

The year that was has been an amazing ride for Ketto. We can’t wait to see what the future holds. Here’s to the future. Here’s to a better world. Here’s to seeing some incredible creative projects come to life. To infinity and beyond!

– Varun Sheth

Newsworthy! (Ketto in the media)

newsworthy post resized

 

The media is buzzing about the busy bees at Ketto!

Ketto has had some fascinating campaigns recently! There are several people raising funds for Khabar Lahariya, a rural-run, local-language, all-female newspaper that is making path-breaking strides in the field of news journalism. You’ve got to check out the images on all their pages! Stunning, if we say so ourselves!

It’s also marathon season, with the 2014 Airtel Hyderabad Marathon just around the corner (24th August). Several marathoners have chosen to start campaigns and raise funds for their favourite charities, and we support them all the way!

Bollywood joined the crowdfunding bandwagon in a big way this month! Celebrities like Aamir Khan, Imran Khan, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan and several others came together to ‘Bend it Like Bollywood’ at a charity football game organized by Tigi Foundation, an NGO for the welfare of animals, founded by psychoanalyst Nuzhat Khan. The campaign had some exciting rewards to offer its supporters, and we’re thrilled fans of Bollywood took advantage of them!

With so much happening at Ketto, it isn’t surprising that the media wanted the scoop on our latest news and campaigns. Do check out the interesting interview of Ketto Co-Founder Kunal Kapoor, reported by The Hindu.

Reaching for the Stars

Jameel Shah is a self-made man who carved a life for himself in the city of his dreams – Mumbai. He moved from a tiny village in Bihar to pursue his dream – to see Bollywood stars in the flesh. His journey brought him to Dharavi, where he began working in the trade of shoemaking. Somewhere along the way, he stumbled upon ballroom dancing and – along with learning the dance and becoming a professional performer – he also began making dance shoes.

Today, Jameel has created a little niche for himself in the dance-shoe business and is a bit of a celebrity in his own right. How many of us can claim to have our own Wikipedia page or claim to have met Australian songstress Kylie Minogue?!

Throughout his journey, this young man did not forget where he came from. The small successes he’s seen have been shared with all back home. He’s begun an educational centre in his village (Doghra) to encourage others to reach for the stars like he did. He strongly believes in the power of education and wants to ensure others have the advantage of it as well. He himself has begun learning English to help him grow further as an individual and as an entrepreneur.

On a personal note, Jameel shares with Ketto that he refused to marry an under-aged girl and only got married after ensuring his bride was of legal age. This, he says, is something most of his fellow-villagers don’t bother about. He wants to set an example for his people and help them move forward.

We applaud this inspirational human being. May his tribe increase! Watch him as he shares his fascinating and moving journey on Tedx Talks.

NB: It’s in Hindi and is the most fascinating talk you may have heard yet!

 

Kunal Kapoor: Actor, Visionary, Giver

Microsoft Word - Kunal Kapoor Interview_Ketto.docxAmidst the glitz and glamour of the Indian film industry is an actor who has leveraged his popularity and celebrity clout to create awareness about social issues and motivate Indian youth to drive change.

Critically acclaimed actor Kunal Kapoor is one of the three founding partners of Ketto and when he is not working on one of his offbeat films, he devotes his time to inspiring today’s generation to become charitable in a fun and easy manner.

Upon realizing that the only thing stopping people from donating was the lack of a credible platform, Kunal helped create Ketto as a vehicle for moving funds to those in need from those who need to give back.

Keep reading to discover what Bollywood thinks of the spirit of giving and how the renowned actor leverages his goodwill to empower today’s youth.

From Bollywood to charity, how did the idea for Ketto come about?
I was working with a number of NGOs and realized they were always in need of funds and people to help but did not necessarily have access to them. On the other hand, many of my friends, family, acquaintances were looking to donate and help out but were not exactly sure how to and to whom to give these funds to. Also, charity is perceived as serious, difficult and complicated. So the idea behind Ketto was to build a bridge between the people that needed help and those who wanted to help using the easiest possible way, which is technology.

Do you see a huge mind-shift in Bollywood towards charity today?
I think the Indian film industry has always been the first to step up whenever there is a need to raise funds or awareness for a social cause. Today there are so many more avenues that have opened up, which makes it easier for us to reach out to people for charitable causes.

How has the crowdfunding landscape changed in India?
I think it’s growing at a really fast pace. When we started a couple of years back, there was a certain amount of resistance. But over the years I have seen the mindset change. People are realizing the power of crowdfunding. We’ve seen the interest and traffic growing with every passing month.

What role has Ketto played in changing the dynamics of giving in India?

I think it’s too early to say that we’ve changed the dynamics of giving. We have pulled off campaigns that we are really proud of in areas as diverse as education, women’s issues and sports. The larger dream though is to change the mindset associated with giving. People think charity is serious, complicated and difficult. We want them to see that it can be fun, easy and accessible. In the amount of time you take to book movie tickets, you can now change a life, sitting anywhere in the world.

How do you leverage your background in acting for Ketto?
I think that the first step to bringing about change is to create awareness. Being a celebrity helps me create awareness and support causes I believe in. If as an actor I can sell, cars, clothes, watches, then it’s important that I use that reach to create awareness and mobilize people to lend their support.