Category - Education

How Ketto Contributed To Global Citizen India’s Massive Movement

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From Chris Martin singing ‘Maa tujhe salaam’ to Prime Minister Narendra Modi quoting Bob Dylan in his video call, around 80,000 music lovers saw it all at the grandest and brightest event of the year on November 19 – India’s first ever Global Citizen Festival.

Along with being an exceptional music festival, this was also one of the most powerful events when it comes to driving social change and people’s participation. More than 5 lakh global citizens, Bollywood and international celebrities, business and political leaders collectively pledged to end extreme poverty by 2030 – by working towards sustainable goals of quality education, gender equality and water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH).

Through our partnership with Global Citizen India, we gave people another way of earning tickets – we encouraged them to support the pre-defined sustainable development goals by raising funds for 3 resourceful non-profits that work towards those causes – WaterAid India (Water & Sanitation Hygiene), Miracle Foundation (Quality Education) and Oxfam India (Gender Equality). People who successfully raised funds walked away with 4 free tickets and of course, a lot of good karma.

With help from about 4500 global citizens, we’ve raised Rs. 11,96,466 in total. Here’s our commitment to each sustainable development goal.

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The Global Citizen Festival India gathered immense support – 2,000,000 ‘actions journeys’ were completed and an amount of $5.93B (Rs. 40,500 crore) was secured to create a positive impact on 503M lives.

Festival’s impact includes 25 commitments and announcements from policymakers responding to ‘actions journeys’ and campaign efforts. Among the commitments are International Finance Corporation Banking on Women Group’s $2 billion promoting women entrepreneurship by end of 2017, 48 mobile classrooms from HP giving access to quality education and technology over 6 years, Toilet Board Coalition for improved access to sanitation and hygiene for 130 million people by 2020, IDFC Bank’s proposal to provide 200,000 micro-finance loans for water sanitation to reach 900,000 people by the end of 2019, Tata group chairman Ratan Tata committed Rs. 300 crore from Tata Trusts over the next two years for water and sanitation programmes and many more.

Now that’s a huge deal! We’re super proud to have contributed to this global movement in our own way.

We’re hoping to see these promising commitments turn into beautiful success stories for not just India but for the world. Here’s to a world without extreme poverty by 2030! Celebrate this first step in that direction by sharing it with everybody.

This Diwali, Let There Be Light – But Of A Different Kind

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We’re a generation of change – right from the way we see traveling, body-shaming, feminism, protest to even Bollywood – everything is way different from how we perceived it a decade ago. Our transitory generation can safely say, ‘It’s the end of the world as we knew it’.

What if we also changed the way we look at festivals? What if we made a few changes in the traditional ‘rule-book’, implemented them and handed it over to our children so it ends up becoming an annual tradition? How about adopting a habit of adopting a cause every Diwali?

We’re talking about a real deal here – that means, every time you decorate your house, make festive food, you also think of the cause your family can make a difference to that year.

We all love to be at home to celebrate festivals so it’s a perfect time to take up a cause together and make a difference to it collectively. Just adopt any cause – we don’t mean something that will put an end to global warming (nothing like it, if you can do that though), we mean ideas that will celebrate change in the smallest way possible.

In case you’d like thought starters, here are some ideas that you can start with this year:

Invite your maid’s family over for dinner and eat with them at the dinner table for a change. It can even be your watchman, garbage picker, laundry person – anyone you feel like knowing a little better. This can be truly enlightening. Nithya one of our ex-campaigners shared the idea of this beautiful tradition with us – he even raised funds for his maids’ kids, read his beautiful story here.

Instead of putting up long updates about how animals and birds get tortured by the smoke and noise during Diwali and boiling our blood over insensitive people not realising it, here’s a thought – you probably can’t control all people who burst crackers, but what you can do is put address tags on stray dogs and cats who live in your area. Why? Strays tend to run to a noise-free place and realise they are completely lost and disoriented after Diwali. This can help dog lovers like you bring them back to where they belong once the madness is over.

You know that lane outside your building that you’ve written multiple complaints about and have been waiting for the authorities to look into – how about doing it yourself? Maybe this Diwali you can go beyond just cleaning your own house. Pick up the broom, put on a mask, gather your family and maybe your society members and clean up that lane! We think it’ll make for a beautiful story and a brighter Diwali!

Every time you’ve seen a person in need, you’ve probably reached your wallet and given them what you can but if you had to go for a sustainable solution. You can raise funds for that needy person – the old man who sells toys, the underprivileged kid who learns with the books she finds in the trash, the old woman who is all alone after her son died – anyone who you think could use some monetary help – start a fundraiser for them on Ketto and we’ll guide you at every step. If you want to read stories of regular people changing lives by starting a fundraiser, go here.

Every child should have something to look forward this Diwali, right? How about taking rounds of your area and giving away chocolates/sweets/ice creams to children on the street. We’re sure your deed is going to light up their Diwali and their smiles are going to light up yours.

This way, by celebrating every festival, we’ll also be celebrating change. Won’t festivals become truly beautiful if we celebrate them this way? So how do you want to begin this tradition this Diwali?

For Our Fallen Soldiers

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“I will observe and obey the commands of any officer set above me, even to the peril of my life” — Oath of an Indian Army Officer.


The Combined Defense Service Examination is held two times every year in the months of March and October, an average of 4,00,000 people sit for the tests, out of which only 8,000 are made eligible to join the forces.

Before their formal integration into the army the young aspirants take a pledge to serve their nation before themselves, and if need be, sacrifice their lives in the line of duty, for their country.

An oath they take with great pride and happiness.

The mighty ask of that pledge came true for 18 soldiers from the 10 Dogra and 6 Bihar regiments on the fateful morning of 18th September. While most of India slept comfortably in their beds the small town of Uri — an Indian army base along the LoC, was under seize by a group of four militants who crossed the border into India.

In a pre-dawn ambush, the terrorists infiltrated the camps and lobbed 17 grenades in under three minutes at the sleeping soldiers instantly killing 18, and further injuring 30 support staff and personnel.


As the families of the fallen heroes and the rest of the world woke up to the news, everyone at the Ketto India headquarters too, was deeply saddened and shocked at the development.

As the day progressed, what followed was a rhetoric from the Government of India, that every Indian had come to learn and accept. Condemnation of the ‘dastardly attacks’ was followed by an announcement of compensation for the family of the soldiers.

When that money would actually reach their families was a question without answer.


As the catalyst of social change, Ketto decided to take charge of the situation and use every resource available to them to help the soldiers. The team proactively started fundraisers in the name of each of the 18 soldiers.

The idea was simple — the money would directly, immediately and effectively reach their families, the funds would be transferred to their personal bank accounts, there would be no lags, no middle-men and no red tape.


Most of the soldiers hailed from India’s poverty stricken state of Bihar, where the man of the house was usually the sole bread earner for the family and his sudden and tragic death would mean financial mayhem for his dear ones.

Individuals, start-ups, MNC’s, celebrities and schools made-up the 18 entities that came together to adopt a campaign each, for the martyrs. And the list is still counting.


The collective efforts of the campaigners and their supporters have met with great success
The sharing of the fundraisers on social-media has brought awareness and traction to all the pages, ensuring individual contributions from all over the country and beyond. The ripple effect has been significant and vast ensuring financial stability for the grieving families.

In no particular order, here are names of all our fallen soldiers:

Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh, Naik SK Vidarthi , Sepoy Rakesh Singh, Sepoy Ganesh Shankar, Sepoy Rajesh Kumar Singh, Sepoy Harinder Yadav, Havildar NS Rawat, Sepoy Naiman Kuju, Sepoy Uike Janrao, Sepoy Bishwajit Ghorai, Sepoy G Dalai, Subedar Karnail Singh, Havildar Ravi Paul, Sepoy Javra Munda, Lance Naik G Shankar, Lance Naik RK Yadav, Sepoy TS Somnath and Sepoy K Vikas Janardhan

 

We’ve started the ‘Support Soldiers’ initiative to help families of our martyred soldiers by facilitating crowdfunding for their survival and sustenance. This initiative will remain active for all days of the year, needless to say, especially when we’re hit by tragic and unfortunate news of another brave soldier losing his life while protecting the country at the border.

If you too would like to show support, then adopt a martyred soldier by starting a fundraiser for them, contribute to either of the fundraisers or simply spread the word by sharing the link with your friends and family or you can just write to use at info@ketto.org.

Support Soldiers — An initiative by Ketto: supportsoldiers.ketto.org

We strive for accuracy and fairness, if you see something that doesn’t look right, write to info@ketto.org.

10 People Who Can Help You Win Free Tickets To Global Citizen Festival India!

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Wondering who you can approach so you can create meaningful impact and also win tickets to the Global Citizen Festival India, to see Coldplay, JAY Z, and several Indian artists LIVE? Think no more!

Presenting 10 people around you who can get you closer to watching Coldplay LIVE right now:

1. The People You’re Going With – Your lucky friends who are going to win a chance to experience the most anticipated event of the year and 90 minutes of Coldplay because of you HAVE to make donations to help you move closer to your goal – that’s only fair, right? So get them to make generous donations right now!

2. Your Parents – Now your friends are probably asking you to donate to their fundraisers so they can win free tickets too, but thankfully you can count your parents out of the fundraising challenge. Put on your best behaviour and get them to donate individually. Don’t forget to remind them that they’ll be making a huge difference to the cause that you’re supporting.

3. Your Close Friends – How can you expect anyone else to support your fundraiser if your close friends don’t set the ball rolling? Ask them to make a donation and promise them a nice lunch treat in return.

4. Uncle Who Pampers You Every Diwali – We all have that one uncle who religiously gets us gifts every Diwali. This year, sacrifice that gift for a good cause and ask your uncle to donate to your fundraiser instead. If you hit your goal, you know it’s going to be totally worth it.

5. Aunt Who Stays In The US – Remember that family friend who stays in the US and sends her love with fancy gifts? Skype call them today and tell them about your fundraiser and how if they make a donation, they’ll not just be helping you move closer to free tickets, they’ll also be making a difference to a cause in India inspite of being away in another continent! Ketto accepts donations in both Rupees (INR) & Dollars (USD), so they can feel free to donate any amount they’re comfortable with.

6. Friend Who Owes You Money – Remember that friend who casually borrowed money from you and hasn’t paid you back yet? It’s payback time, only better, because his/her money will directly go for a good cause.

7. Friend Who Cares A Lot – You know that friend whose Facebook wall & Twitter feed is filled with opinions about how the world can be a better place? It’s time to reach out to them! Based on the cause you’ve started a fundraiser for, get in touch with your feminist friends, friends who believe in the power of education and all your righteous friends! Explain your cause to them and we’re sure that’s going to be enough for them to donate to your fundraiser.

8. Friend Who Won’t Be Able To Make It – If you have friends who are Coldplay/JAY Z fans and are going to miss the Festival because they’re going on a trip this November, let them know that the best way to make a difference to the charity their favourite band/artist supports is by donating to your fundraiser and helping you get a chance to see them live. If not them, then you, right? As a thank you, promise them videos and Snapchat stories from the Festival.

9. Your Boss – Tell your boss that you’re raising funds for a good cause and why it means so much to you! Knowing how good an employee you’ve been, ask if s/he would like to make a donation. No matter how small or big the amount, we’re sure your boss would be pleased to see a different side of you.

10. Believe in #ShuruaatHoonMain – And most importantly, it all begins with you! You’re the starting point of this beautiful movement for all your friends and family so the first donation has to come from you – you spearheaded it after all. So if you’ve still not donated to your cause, do it right away!

So, how many have you reached out to already?

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Your Guide To Create Meaningful Impact & Win Free Tickets To The Global Citizen Festival India

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Global Citizen India has partnered with Ketto to giveaway 1,000 free tickets for Global Citizen Festival India, headlined by Coldplay, JAY Z, and several Indian artists to people who raise funds for causes they support.

Ketto is truly honoured and excited to be a part of the world’s largest movement to end extreme poverty by 2030. Global Citizens can raise funds for any of the following causes – quality education, gender equality and water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) and get a chance to experience the most anticipated Festival of the year.

Note: This is NOT an action journey. It’s a different way to win tickets.  The first 50 that successfully raise Rs. 50,000/- (1st Phase) for any cause they support will win 4 tickets each.

The fundraising activity is split into 5 phases with the following goal amounts:

1st Phase | Rs. 50,000 – the first 50 people get 4 x tickets
2nd Phase | Rs. 50,000 – the first 125 people get 2 x tickets
3rd Phase | Rs. 75,000 – the first 125 people get 2 x tickets
4th Phase | Rs. 90,000 – the first 125 people get 2 x tickets
5th Phase | Rs. 1,00,000 – the first 25 people get 2 x tickets

If you’re the fastest to successfully raise funds, you will win entry into the Global Citizen Festival India.

The first phase of tickets will be won by the first 50 people to raise Rs. 50,000. The second phase of tickets will be won by 125 people who are the fastest to raise Rs. 50,000. The third phase of tickets will be for 125 people who are first in raising Rs. 75,000. Tickets from the fourth phase will be won by 125 people who are the first to raise Rs. 90,000 and subsequently the last phase of tickets will be won by 25 people who are the first to raise Rs. 1,00,000. To understand this properly, read our FAQs.

How you can ace the fundraising challenge:

– Scroll down on your dashboard (under the ‘Manage Fundraiser’ section), and you’ll find respective buttons to post on Facebook, Twitter & even send a message to multiple friends on Facebook. Spread the word to get your donations rolling. There’s no shame in asking – you’re doing this for a wonderful purpose!

– Draft a WhatsApp message with the fundraiser link and circulate it among all your groups – school, family, college, work, all! Spread the word and get your friends to donate to your cause. For once, you won’t find the notifications annoying.

– The ‘update’ feature on your Ketto fundraiser page is like your microphone. Every time you have an announcement to make or you feel you need more hands, just update your fundraiser page with the progress and the amount you need to hit your goal. As soon as you do that, an e-mail and an SMS will be sent to all your supporters encouraging them to give your fundraiser another voice. It’s the best way to let them know that all their donations are benefitting the cause they supported. What a beautiful way to get your loved ones to do good!

– If you feel like you need more guidance or advice, you can always get in touch with your Ketto fundraiser manager, who’s just a call/email/SMS away. You can also chat with them via the chat interface available on your fundraiser page.

– Keep checking the challenge updates to find out how many have already aced the fundraising challenge. Even if you miss out on winning the challenge, don’t worry: you have done your part for this powerful movement.

This fundraiser will give you the two most valued experiences of your life – having raised funds to contribute to the world’s largest movement and being a part of the first ever Global Citizen Festival India. Let’s do this, Global Citizen!

Let’s begin!

 

Not All S/Heroes Wear Capes

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Who are s/heroes? Are they just limited to fantasy entertainment or do they exist in reality as well?

At Ketto, we have the privilege of meeting real-life s/heroes everyday. Now they may not wear capes but they carry their super powerful passion within them that translates their good thoughts into inspiring deeds.

Say hello to the Superheroes of Ketto!

Super Empowerer Nikhil Sarup
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The 82 year-old veteran dancer Tara Balgopal had a postal stamp issued in her honour back in the day. She was later living off charity in a dilapidated house at the mercy of her neighbours. While many of us were busy blaming the government and feeling bad for her, Nikhil Sarup took that extra step beyond likes and shares and decided to visit her in Delhi.

Our Super Empowerer used crowdfunding and raised more than Rs. 8,00,000 for her. She now has a proper, well-furnished house to live in, with electricity, a tiffin service and a way better life.

Super PawProtector Amee Mendez
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This woman has been taking care of about 47 dogs for 11 years now, all by herself! From their food to medical needs, Amee single-handedly takes care of everything until they get adopted by a capable, responsible family. She always puts her love and passion for animals above everything, even her own needs. With time it became difficult to tend to these dogs’ needs, so she turned to crowdfunding for help. And guess what? It just added to her super powers!

SuperDad Papa Reji

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Papa Reji has 24 children. Children affected with HIV have been living with him for more than a decade now. Despite limited income and means, he has successfully managed to provide them with the dignified days they deserve, some of which, he did through crowdfunding on Ketto. Fathering so many kids and protecting them from social evils for all these years makes him a definitive SuperDad for us!

Wizpowerer Prakash Aroor
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Nobody understands the power of empowerment through education better than a publisher! Wizpowerer Prakash Aroor did not protect coconut vendor Sadashiva from any accident or lethal event, rather he brought together the resources that he needed for a sustainable and progressive life. Through crowdfunding, Prakash gathered money from like minded socially active individuals, and now aims to support him with his personal health and daughters’ educational needs.

Neither is this doomsday, nor is there a Joker or Loki in this world. Our evils are much more real but the bright side is that we do not need superhero costumes or superpowers to combat them. All we need is the intent and passion to reach where we aim to.

Join the Quit India Movement 2016

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On 14th August 1947, at midnight, when the clock struck 12, as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru put it, we awoke to life and freedom, celebrating our first independent day. But did this day mark the end of our struggle in reality?
69 years after independence, we’re still fighting to free ourselves from evils such as lack of education, unequal opportunities for women, unprotected environment, limited access to healthcare and many more.

For all of us at Ketto, August 15 holds a lot more importance because it also happens to be the day we started our journey as a crowdfunding platform.
Since our inception in 2012, we’ve worked towards our vision of empowering individuals with a platform, so they can gather funds and create a positive change at a personal and/or a national level.

As we turn 4 today, we wish to start another Quit India Movement, this time for the homegrown challenges that need us to come together yet again.
Over 20,000 responsible people and 2000 NGOs of India have spearheaded the movement by teaming up with us and used crowdfunding to bring about an instrumental change in the following areas:

INR 3,59,15,783 has been raised to make healthcare accessible
INR 4,23,20,173 has been raised for the welfare of children
INR 73,80,647 has been raised to empower women
INR 2,06,11,706 has been raised to eradicate illiteracy
INR 72,24,972 has been raised for the welfare of animals
INR 13,05,839 has been raised to create a sustainable environment

What would you fight for?

Come, be a part of India’s Quit India Movement again, raise funds for an evil that you wish to free India from and don’t forget to spread the word.

Start A Fundraiser

7 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

“People suck!”
“Seriously, why is no one kind anymore?!”
“Whatever happened to good people!”

If you’re having a sucky day and tweeting deep thoughts questioning the existence of humans, take a look at these heartwarming incidents. They may restore your faith in humanity and detox your mind.

He rescued a penguin once and it comes back to thank him EVERY YEAR!
We just can’t get over this one! Read all about it here.

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This guy decided to spend his first salary on getting a real “happy meal” for street kids. What a noble thought!

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He feeds on the happy smiles of homeless people. We can’t get help but adore that genuine heartfelt smile. Find out more about this selfless hero here.

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He decided to not leave anyone behind, not even this voiceless furry pooch.
Someone raised funds for animals during Chennai floods on Ketto. Find out more here.

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This professor doesn’t let walls or benches confine education. Respect! Read more about him here.

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This man raised funds to restore the pride of this veteran Indian dancer when the whole world had forgotten about her. Find out how he did it here.

Kind people unshackled Lakshmi the elephant from a life filled with misery, scars and starvation. Read more about it here.

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If these pictures made you smile and cheered you up, share and make someone’s day maybe?

Also, if you feel inspired and want to make a difference, get started with a campaign to raise funds. Go ahead!
 

6 Concepts School Didn’t Teach You

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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.”

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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.
 

Monthly Roundup: Trending Campaigns on Ketto in November

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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!

Hardwell:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.