Asia’s most trusted and visited crowdfunding platform Ketto in collaboration with JumpingGoose, a design consultation and implementation agency has initiated a campaign to raise awareness for breast cancer.
There’s an interesting twist to this campaign – this time it’s spearheaded by men under the name MCBC. Before we get your eyebrows raised, MCBC is the abbreviated form of the words ‘Men Countering Breast Cancer’.
To bring it to life, Ketto and JumpingGosse have launched a range of casual and quirky T-shirts for men with the letters MCBC written in bold colours and designs. These T-shirts are exclusively available on the online shopping destination Amazon. The idea is to generate awareness around breast cancer and encourage women to get checked early. A portion of the proceeds will go to Tata Memorial Trust Mumbai for treating underprivileged women that have breast cancer.
Breast cancer has been rising steadily and both the incidence as well as deaths due to breast cancer are now more than cervical cancer in India. The MCBC campaign aims at gaining support from men who want to help women in India beat breast cancer.
So if you’re one and want to show support, go grab your MCBC T-shirt now!
We like our cabs picking up fast, our pizza getting delivered quickly and our internet connection only at 4G – anything that’s not fast is not good enough. In this ‘insta’ obsessed generation, here’s a perfect way to help a cause or a person, especially when we have an intent to help but struggle to find the time to do so.
We bring to you four causes that you can make a difference to by donating to their fundraiser on Ketto, right now and that too in a matter of just 3 minutes!
Virtually Parent These Adorable Puppies:
Read only if: You’re the kind of person who loves to pet and feed stray dogs wherever you go and you find yourself always looking out for them.
Being an ardent animal lover, Smita knew she couldn’t leave the 8 puppies she spotted at a dangerous construction site all by themselves. With support from Janm Foundation, she rescued them and has already found homes for 3 of them.
Read only if: Art and artists inspire you and you would like to help this young graffiti artist get his chemotherapy sessions done.
From a mechanical engineer to a graffiti artist filmed by the popular energy drink Red Bull, Karitkey’s story has been truly inspiring. After braving a lot of financial and emotional struggles in his career path, he decided to start his own art firm with his partners. Sadly, the day he decided to sign the papers and get his firm registered, he was diagnosed positive with Stage 4 – Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Help Her Represent India On An Expedition To Antarctica:
Read only if: You’re passionate about protection of the environment and sensitive towards concepts like climate change, usage of polythene bags, carbon footprint etc.
A young passionate girl Bhavna has been selected to represent India at the Leadership with an edge program, part of International Antarctic Expedition 2017. The purpose for the expedition is to engage and inspire the next generation of leaders to take responsibility to build resilient communities and in doing so, preserve Antarctica. This unique initiative encompasses leadership, the environment, education and survival.
This once in a lifetime opportunity comes at a cost. She needs Rs. 10,00,000 for the expedition fee, air travel, extreme weather clothing and equipment – donate to send her to Antarctica!
Gift Drinking Water To Slum-Dwellers:
Read Only If: You believe that safe, clean drinking water is not a privilege and everyone deserves it.
Manya and Sana have taken a pledge to provide pure drinking water to slum-dwellers in and around Delhi and Gurgaon. People living in these slums are subject to various waterborne diseases, caused primarily by drinking untreated water that is mixed with chemicals and other impurities. Lack of alternatives leaves them with no choice but to drink this water.
There comes a time in our lives when we sit back and question everything we learned in school. Mostly when our CA talks about zillion tax-saving options or when you remember the terrifying problem scribbled on the board that asked you to find the value of “x”.
Did school teach us enough to handle different unexpected problems life throws at us?
Let’s look at some concepts we think our syllabus should have totally included.
How to be emotionally intelligent:
Ask someone the capital of important states, they’ll name them all. But ask someone their thoughts on how to handle stress, anxiety, inferiority complex, they’ll probably just respond with a thoughtful “hmmm” or “I don’t know, Google?”
In today’s competitive generation, we’re exposed to a plethora of problems that we don’t know how to deal with.
Imagine a lecture that talks about real problems, how to deal with heart break, how to not let failure discourage us, how to keep ourselves motivated and positive, how communication is the foundation of all healthy relationships.
We think it would have been super helpful.
How to be a social change maker:
Along with sound career advice, we feel schools could stress on the importance of investing a decent amount of time and energy on giving back to the society as well and how it makes the world a much better place.
If there’s a cause that’s close to your heart, there are ways you can help. But who’s got the time or money, you say?
What if we tell you there’s a way you can do it without going to the field or shelling out money? You could crowd fund! Here are 3 magic steps: Pick a cause, choose an NGO that supports the cause and raise funds using Ketto.
Here’s Nisha’s story who raised more than a lakh for Vatsalya Foundation towards provision of clothes and shoes to kids. Give it a read.
How to be financially smart:
Banks are filled with confused, direction less souls just trying to figure out which queue to stand in. When you hit your early 20s and decide to do something instead of just splurging your hard earned money, bam! You’re hit with jargons like Systematic Investment Planning, Mutual Funds, and Life Insurance that can be overwhelming.
Don’t you think life would have been a tad bit easier had our school talked us through the basics of banking, finances and filing taxes so we were better prepared for the financial horror approaching us on March 31.
How to manage an emergency:
Every mall, corporate office and even some rickshaws have a fire extinguisher installed, but how many of us know how to use it? How many of us know how to give basic CPR in case someone collapses because of an unexpected heart attack? Or what number to dial if some pervert starts stalking you? Panic can wreck a situation and make it worse.
Having presence of mind and thinking on your feet in case of an emergency is something no one taught us in school. How we wish we were better equipped for such mishaps, both mentally and emotionally.
How to become an entrepreneur:
We’re rightly called the startup generation. We get inspired by stories of entrepreneurs, starting from the almighty Steve Jobs to the homegrown Ritesh Agarwal of OYO rooms. We obsess over shows like TVF Pitchers, that focuses on the struggle and passion of 4 budding entrepreneurs. This one’s our personal favourite because Ketto is a startup and we even help startups grow! Find out more here.
We were trained to get a good job so we can “settle”.
If we were encouraged to become entrepreneurs in school, we would have probably had the largest number of entrepreneurs. Don’t you think?
How to nurture creativity in ourselves:
Keeping your creative side healthy and active can practically affect every area of your life. Little things you do can get you the creative high you’d love thus giving the world more thoughtful and innovative ideas and leaders. To name a few ways – maintaining a small book with crazy ideas you casually mentioned to your friends, making sure you’re learning something new – language, instrument, dance form, anything; exercising your imagination with wacky thoughts, going on treks and connecting with nature and reading everyday like it’s your last! As someone rightly said, “The creative adult is a child who survived.”
Would we still have cooked up excuses to bunk school, had things been different? Oh c’mon, we’ve all done it!
We don’t know about the rest, but if you wish to understand crowdfunding better, we’re happy to help!
Read through some of our campaign stories right now.
November brought us some promising and heart-warming stories in the campaigning space. Here are the top picks of stories that were trending in the month of November.
PS. Some are still trending way into December!
Voted the World’s #1 DJ in 2013, Hardwell, along with Anna Agency, set up the United We Are Foundation, a charity project which is “a globally ambitious endeavor to educate young children in different communities around the world” according to Anna Knaup, CEO, Anna Agency.
December 13 will see Hardwell returning to Mumbai, in an event that will potentially break the record of the world’s biggest guest list! Hardwell himself will receive no appearance fee for this show, and instead the proceeds will be handed to the United We Are Foundation and the Magic Bus Foundation, an NGO preoccupied with the welfare and education of underprivileged kids. These efforts will not only see Hardwell become the ambassador of a charity project that will provide education for children in India, but will also help the success and resultant spread of this initiative to countries around the world. Buy your passes and be part of the worlds biggest guest list!
Let Reyhaneh Jabbari’s voice be heard:
FATS TheArts Collaborative, a theatre collaborative, wishes to tell the story of Reyhaneh Jabbari, through a play devised by Founder Faezeh Jalali, entitled 07/07/07. On the fateful day of July 7, 2007, 19-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari was put in jail after defending herself against a man who tried to rape her. Reyhaneh’s self- defense resulted in her attacker’s death and she was convicted for premeditated murder. After a seven-year trial, which she spent in prison and faced ruthless torture, she was hung last year, despite over-arching international uproar condemning the sentence. She wrote letters of some of her brutal experiences during her last year in prison, which 07/07/07 is based on.
Unfortunately, such stories of gender-based violence, and consequent injustice, are not as rare as we would like. Although this is the story of one woman, it resonates with a thousand others, especially those living in developing, patriarchal cultures and lower socio-economic situations. Reyhaneh’s is an important story to tell and FATS TheArts Collaborative has been quite successful in their campaign, meeting over half of their goal amount of Rs. 7 lakhs! If you believe that the arts, such as theatre, are important components of driving social change and eradicating ignorance and feel Reyhaneh’s story must be voiced, you can do your bit here.
Pioneering sex education:
It is no surprise that India is a pretty gender-biased place. It is also no surprise that here sex and sexuality is a very hush-hush topic. It is also absolutely no surprise that 80 per cent of women in India have no idea why they menstruate. Wait a minute, that is very surprising (and not to mention disturbing)!
These are exactly the kind of gaps that Iesha is trying to bridge, through pioneering a very effective, easy-to-use, fun and digitized curriculum on sexuality and gender education. Iesha’s philosophy is simply that if children have the right information at the right time, this will enable them to make the right, informed choice.
India, due to the taboo surrounding the topic of sex, menstruation and puberty, has been lacking in giving its children the right education—not only to understand better their own bodies, but how to treat one another, especially in relations concerning the opposite sex. Iesha, through its web-based sex education course, is aiming to communicate such knowledge to India’s younger generation in hopes of creating more gender-equal and gender-sensitive generations in the future. Iesha met such enthusiastic support on it’s campaign and, astonishingly, 80 per cent of their funds came in 24 hours. What’s more, they also went a little over their target! Needless to say, the future of sex-ed in India is in safe hands.
The Elephants of Mandya:
In a country where we value the life of animals associated with Hinduism (read beef-ban), the humble elephant is completely neglected! For years, in India and the world, these majestic, intelligent creatures are used for human entertainment and human consumption. This was exactly the case of five female elephants who belonged to the Gemini Circus, namely Rupa, Laxmi, Chaya, Kumari and late Chanchal (who passed away due to gross negligence). The Gemini Circus lost its elephant performance certificate and the five elephants, instead of being taken care off or set free, were left to languish in a building in the Mandya district of Karnataka in sub-human conditions. They were tied up, making natural movement impossible and were dangerously underweight.
Vasudev Murthy, an Honorary Animal Welfare Officer of the Animal Welfare Board of India based out of Bangalore, along with Humane Society International – India, decided to take a step for these animals. Their campaign helped raise funds to avail legal services to bring justice to these elephants by taking legal action against abuse, negligence and cruelty.
[Want more inside stories on independent filmmakers and their trysts with crowdfunding? Check out Part I exploring Proposition for a Revolution’s journey, and stay tuned for Part III!]
After digging deeper into the history of crowdfunding in film with Shyam Benegal, and exploring director Navneet Prakash’s journey working on his racing documentary ‘Sons of Speed’, we decided to cut to the chase. As we continue exploring the relationship between crowdfunding and films, we go, this time, straight to the sources — collecting opinions from filmmakers who have crowdfunded for their films and thus, had their audiovisual dreams see the light of day because of it.
In Part II of this series, we look at the journey of The One Rupee Project, and speak to filmmaker Anamitra Roy to distil the essence of what it is about independent filmmaking and crowdfunding that make them such a natural fit. Roy’s film tackles something a little more abstract that what the average Indian viewer is used to — it’s a DIY docu-fiction that’s based on the indie film scene in India.
Describing it as a ‘a self-reflexive mockery of the whole journey, our struggle and the place of indie films in the map of motion picture entertainment in the country’, Anamitra explains that the film’s post-structural composition uses several layers of meanings to tell one story, in a non-linear manner.
Initially, Anamitra explains, the aim was to come up with something that’d make their voices reach a larger audience. “People were interested and talking about indie films as far as I remember, but no one was looking at the margins,” he says.
“Crowdfunding was always there if you look at things a little differently,” he says, when asked about how he decided to turn to the means for gathering funds. “When we were in college we used to raise funds for almost everything; from literary bulletins to hardcore political poster campaigns. Making a crowdfunded film was on our agenda since 2009.”
Hosted on Wishberry and Funduzz, their campaign started accepting contributions in February, 2012, with a blog launched in tandem. “We also had handouts being circulated with the details of the campaign for the contributors,” he explains. They managed to raise 215k offline and 85k online, finally, out of which at least 70k came from people they knew.
“The response was huge,” he recalls. “People gave us money to make something most of them would either find boring or too complicated to be understood. We tried to make an engaging film, not an entertaining one, and we did it.”
“We couldn’t manage gap funding for colour grading, ADR and folly, and sending it out to film festivals, but we did make the film. And that’s enough for us to consider it a success. Only a few people have watched it till date, and it was never released even though many articles online claim otherwise.”
The biggest stumbling block that crowdfunding is facing, in his opinion, is the ‘hypocrisy of the new Indian middle class’. Anamitra shares. “By middle class, I refer to people with a disposable salary. Everyone is a revolutionary on Facebook and Twitter, but when it comes to taking a step (this does not refer to signing a petition on change.org) or building up a community dedicated to a cause, what we are left with are mostly those pseudo-activists who are only out to prove a virtual point.”
As for 3 tips he’d give someone looking to start a crowdfunding campaign, Roy says, “Don’t get lost in the myth of the starving artist or else you’ll end up breaking the bank for real. Don’t believe in the hysteria named people’s art. That’s complete BS and art is a very personal thing. Thirdly, it’s all about the momentum. Be desperate enough to not lose it because this kind of a campaign might take a toll on your life.”
Anamitra isn’t sure he’d crowdfund again, but he knows that if he does, he’ll be outsourcing the whole process to someone else so he can concentrate on other aspects of filmmaking.
“I think there are many filmmakers who are turning to crowdfunding today, with good reason,” Mr. Benegal remarks. “It’s a question of whether people feel the film is worthwhile. Opportunities are much greater today, and there are many avenues today for filmmakers, especially because of the reach of the internet.”
His own 1976 film ‘Manthan’, on the White Revolution of India, was made thanks to the contribution of over half a million milk farmers in Gujarat in the mid-1970’s, a staggering show of solidarity that told the tale of their movement on the big screen.
Director of Manthan, 1976, Shyam Benegal. [Image: Wikiwand]
The filmmaker is full of praises for Dr Kurien, the man behind Amul, and the pioneer of the movement which transformed India into the largest milk-producing country in the world.
“I had made a couple of documentaries for Dr Verghese Kurien, who redefined the story of milk production in the country,” he shares. “His intervention was incredible; he pioneered the milk producers’ co-operative movement, the first time something like this was being done on such a large scale.”
Dr. Kurien, Mr. Benegal relates, wanted very much for the story of how the milk co-operatives began, to be documented. “I knew Dr Kurien well, he was the boss of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. or GCMMF, and I had made two documentaries for him in the late 60’s, while I was still working for an advertising agency,” he explains. “He said he was very happy with them, but I realised that I was not. I felt that they were really preaching to the converted, they were being shown to people who already had co-operatives. We needed to reach out to the public at large, so that they could come to know about the largest, most successful co-operative movement in the world.”
“I was travelling all over Gujarat to capture the movement when I was working on the ‘Operation Flood’ documentaries,” he recalls. “I told Dr Kurien that I wanted to make a feature on the movement, based on what I’d witnessed over the course of my travels. He was all for it, and when it came to the matter of money to produce the film, he came up with a suggestion that was so simple and marvellous, it was perfect.”
Dr. Kurien asked him how much money he would need, and when Mr. Benegal answered with a quote of Rs 10-12 lakhs (“Of course, it’s impossible to do that in today’s day and age,” he chuckles.), Dr Kurien reportedly said, “I have, at the moment, more than half a million farmers in Gujarat alone who are members of Amul Co-operative Societies.
“The milk farmers gather every morning and evening to sell their milk, and they are paid for the morning’s sales in the evening, and the evening’s sales, the next morning. Let me send a message to all the co-operative unions of Gujarat and ask them if the milk farmers would be willing, for just one morning, to accept Rs 2 less. They can then become producers of a feature film which tells their story. Why would they say no?”
Dr. Kurien’s proposal got a vote of approval from each and every one of those farmers, thanks to which the production of Manthan was made possible. Mr. Benegal pauses at this point to remark that while it’s all very well to make the film, there were a lot of other elements that required money as well – to make several prints, for distribution, publicity and for a theatrical release. There also needed to be an audience willing to pay money to see the film, in order to recover expenses.
“Dr Kurien made a call to a distributor and assured him that if he would release the film in theatres, he would personally see to it that he would have a full house at most shows,” Mr Benegal shares. “All the farmers came from their villages to see their own story on the big screen. It was incredible, the Times of India, Ahmedabad Edition, carried a whole story on this unique phenomenon – trucks and trucks of farmers with their families coming into cities such as Baroda, Ahmedabad, Mehsana… they were the first audiences of the film they’d helped produce.”
The film successfully covered its costs and made a small profit as well, telling their story far beyond their time. ‘Manthan’ was one of the few Indian films made which got distribution in different countries in South Africa, South America, Central America, as well as in China. Former PM Morarji Desai presented a copy of the film to the Soviet Union President at the time, and it was shown all over their country too. “These were the regions of the world which were curious about, and would benefit from, the creation of co-operatives,” Mr. Benegal explains.
To cap it all, Dr Kurien was asked to present this film at the United Nations in New York at the General Assembly. “He took me along, and I introduced the film and screened it in New York,” Mr Benegal smiles. “That’s the story of Manthan.”
It isn’t his only tryst with crowdfunding though. His second crowdfunding venture, Susman, was about handloom weavers. Funds were gathered for this, too, in a similar manner, by the different handloom co-operative unions all over the country. “Finally, in 1991, I made a film called Antarnaad, based on the Swadhyay movement, spearheaded by Pandurang Shastri Athavale,” Mr. Bengal explains.
“Crowdfunding is a very important means for Independent filmmakers, but a film cannot be self-indulgent,” he concludes. “There must be artistic work, or an attempt to create this, at any rate… and some social work, as well. Why else would people put money into it? Filmmakers have an obligation to return the money that they have been given, one way or another.”
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
― Charles Dickens
Here at Ketto, we’re firm believers in pushing the most original creative projects, no matter how crazy it might sound at first. Our logic is — every great idea had its humble origins somewhere, right? To get started is the key to getting somewhere, and only then does one grow into their potential. More often than not, the creative entrepreneur’s going to need a little help to get by, at least at first. This is where crowdfunding can step in to save the day.
In our previous story ‘Crowdfunding: Musically Yours‘, we explored how artists like Vasuda Sharma and progressive metal band Skyharbour successfully crowdfunded their projects by shedding the red tape and sticking to real talk.
Today, though, we look at a different aspect of crowdfunding — the first, and the most important, the part where you actually reach out and asking for help. You have to be a thinker and a doer to have your dream project materialise, and most important of all, you need to communicate to the audience what your idea is, so they may join you in your journey.
In this inspiring TED Talk (the holy grail of entrepreneurial wisdom), Amanda Palmer speaks about ‘The Art of Asking’:
The reach of the internet is like a three-tiered blessing. First off, it’s democratic enough to give space to any musician or artist who has the guts to put themselves out there and test the waters to see how their dream project will float. Secondly, it’s your friends, family and fans who are going to be contributing and circulating your project; they’re your first audience, so to speak.
Thirdly, the internet has made all sorts of collaborations possible. There’s been a total shift in the artist-fan relationship. Just imagine — as a fan, you can now contribute, on a pay-what-you-want basis, to exactly the kind of music you’d like in your headphones! Chances are, there are going to be several other perks involved as well.
Autographed album, anyone? If you believed in the idea from Day 1, it’s probably yours for the taking.
People aren’t mindreaders, and no one’s going to know the potential of your idea until you make the effort to open up to them and ask. For their opinions, for their help. (And yes, also for that autograph.) For fans and artists alike, the mantra should be ‘Ask, and you shall receive’.
Amanda Palmer said it best when she said, “Through the very act of asking people, I connected with them. And when you connect with them, people want to help you.”