Category - Environment

Carbon Footprints Of The Dead

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We can’t ignore the alarming warnings of global warming and climate change anymore.

Welcome to decade zero – either you act now or you lose your only chance – total annihilation.

With our careless behaviour, we’re writing our own extinction. Quoting Stephen Hawking, “Humanity has only 1,000 years left on Earth.” To make sure we even have a tomorrow, we need to take bold and dramatic steps today. It’s important to realise the importance of changing the way we work, travel, eat, pray and even die.

Sounds ridiculous? Well, funeral pyres are said be the second largest contributors to global warming.

According to researchers from Nevada’s Desert Research Institute and the Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla University in Chhattisgarh, South East India, the impact is “huge” – 23 per cent of particles from human burnt fossil fuels in the atmosphere are a major source of carcinogenic volatile organic compounds. Their dark particles settle on snow and glaciers causing them to warm and melt. Let’s not forget how millions of trees are chopped off to gather firewood for the disposal of the bodies.

Here are stories of people who identified this grave issue and looked at cremation differently:

Mokshda Green Cremation System is an organization that offers Indians a cleaner, more energy-efficient option at crematoriums. This NGO realises how convincing Indians to change their traditional way of burning bodies dramatically is a difficult task so they’ve designed two methods that align with our belief systems.

They rest the wood on a large metal tray large that can hold a human body with an exhaust hood hanging overhead. Burning a body this way uses a third as much wood as the traditional method. It takes two hours instead of three days.The Mokshada way allows concentrating of the fire in the metal tray. This leads to the pyre becoming hotter at a faster pace with less amount of fuel and it releases much less smoke into the air.

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Another such brilliant alternative was thought of by N. Nithyanandam who began the Kasi Pasumai Yatra as an initiative to end the dependence on wood for cremation rituals in Banaras. Instead of using firewood, he suggested the use of coconut shells collected from garbage heaps These coconut shells are then powdered using a machine and used for cremation rites. With an average of 380 bodies being cremated every day, around 280 tons of wood is used. Switching to powdered coconut shells saves 300 kgs of wood for one body. Kudos to Mr. Nithyanandam for controlling pollution to such an extent.

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Now let’s talk about the concept of electric cremation. It’s not new – it was commissioned in January 1989 as a part of the Ganga Action Plan. Despite of having numerous advantages over traditional burning like being promoted by the government, being extremely economical, saving wood and emitting gas emissions, it is used only by certain sections of the society.

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If you have a bright idea that could save us from this doom that we’re heading towards, let’s talk about bringing it to life before it’s too late?

Write to us at info@ketto.org or you can get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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?

How The Generation That’s Always Chasing Time Can Do Good

https://www.instagram.com/kcmouli/

We’re a fast paced, impatient generation.

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.

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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.

Now she needs Rs. 3,500 every month to look after the other puppies’ nutrition, vaccination and even adoption. An amount as small as Rs. 200 will make a lot of difference – donate to help her find a home for these puppies.

Bring This Graffiti Artist Back On His Feet:

Read only if: Art and artists inspire you and you would like to help this young graffiti artist get his chemotherapy sessions done.

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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.

He is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Navy Hospital, Colaba and need funds for continuous sessions – donate to help him in his battle against cancer.

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.

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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.

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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.

By contributing as little as Rs. 1,500 you can gift a family life – donate to provide water filters in the homes of the less fortunate.

There’s no better way of using 3 minutes of your life than making an impact on the causes that you believe in. If you ended up donating to any of the causes mentioned above, we’re sure you’ll agree.

This Ganesh Chaturthi, Let’s Create Sustainable Festivities

credits: pinterest

The rain, the moss, a damp home, humid air, colder days, snakes and worms. That’s monsoon in India. On one of these nights, some of us dance our way to a water body, immersing the statue of a God. The immersion, it is believed, symbolises the end of all the bad things in our lives and marks a new beginning.

The lord of joy, happiness and success, we all look to Lord Ganesha before starting something new. In Hyderabad alone, more than 20,000 statues of the deity will be immersed in 10 lakes across the city this year. Around 300,000 to 400,000 deities are immersed in the waters of Mumbai alone, further deteriorating the already deplorable condition of our ecosystem. Adding to that are the firecrackers and loud speakers that we use to express our happiness.

Let’s all agree that the lord of good beginnings did not expect us to damage life in his name. Religious or not, there are some people in the country who think goodness can also come from the aftermath of immersed idols!

Let’s find out more about some interesting people who are celebrating Ganesha in the most unique ways:

Chocolate Ganesha For Kids

A baker by profession, Rintu lives her Ganesha celebrations by the ideal – “There has to be utilisation after immersion as well”. For the past three years now, she has been making edible Ganesha idols for her personal celebrations. She immerses her chocolate Ganesha in milk, post which she shares the flavoured milk with underprivileged children from various orphanages around the city of Mumbai.

With this video tutorial, she has made making chocolate Ganesha so easy that anyone can do it at home, and that too in just 5 minutes!

After bringing sweetness with her sugar and chocolate Ganesha, Rintu has also come up with the ‘Plant Ganesha’ this year. The idea is to make an idol around a plant in a pot. On the day of immersion, one just needs to pour water and the idol will turn into a lump of clay, that blends into the pot ecosystem. She is training people by taking workshops free of cost, so that anyone who cares isn’t left out.

Eco Friendly Gifting Ideas

Cleansing The System With Plantable Ganesha

Making festivities more sustainable is another organisation, called the (Desi Cows For Better India) DCBI Trust. They are making biodegradable idols of the lord. But that’s not their unique feature. What makes them special is the fact that every time you immerse an idol, either a waterbody is cleansed, or a tree is born!

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Each idol doubles up as a plantable pod, and a waterbody cleanser. Made with 100% natural ingredients that release effective micro-organisms on dissolution, this Ganesha cleanses the lake/sea when immersed in water. There is a seed in the statue that gives rise to a plant when placed in soil. This year, they decided to do something more. They crowdfunded to sponsor eco-friendly Ganesha celebrations of underprivileged families by distributing these idols among them.

Let’s celebrate this wonderful festival with a spirit of ‘oneness with nature.’ If you too have an idea for positive change and need funds to bring it to life, get in touch with us, and we’ll help you craft a fundraiser to go ahead with it!

Soon the festivities will fizzle out. Let’s hope that each year, more and more people like these emerge, so that we can have more sustainable festivities.

2 Ways You Can Help People Affected By Floods In Bihar Right Now

Credits: Twitter

The news of the aftermath of Assam Floods hasn’t even faded away, and another devastating flood situation has come to light. Bihar has been struck by floods that have been going on since around the same time as the Assam Floods. As per government reports, at least 24 out of 38 districts have been affected by the floods in Bihar. About 135 lives have been lost in the calamity that has left people immersed in waters that are chest-deep. For a story that has been going on for the past 41 years now, locals claim that this year has been as bad as the floods of 1975. In all, the Bihar floods have affected around 31.33 lakh people across 4,303 villages. The lack of availability of food in the area has forced many of the affected people to buy dead rats for meals, for a price of Rs. 40-50 per kilogram.

Credits: Twitter

Credits: Twitter

People in the affected regions have been living in such conditions for more than a month now, & it is high time that everyone intervenes in whichever way they can.

Here are two ways in which anyone can help:

Share This Information

A great starting point would be sharing the emergency contacts numbers mentioned below with people who can make use of them. You can also share these on your Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts, so that more and more people can benefit from this useful information.

Name of Help Centre Contact Number
Jigasha Call Centre 0612-2233333
NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) +91-9711077372
Bihar Disaster Management Authority 0612-2522032    info@bsdma.org
Disaster Management Control Room 0612-2217305
Sri. Vyasji, Principal Secretary, Disaster Management Department 0612-2215600
Donate A Relief Kit

So far only half of the affected people have been able to receive support at various relief camps set by the government. Authorities are expending a lot of resources and individuals to help the situation. The state disaster response authority is also adding daily updates on their website to share the response action that is being undertaken. Many NGOs have also come forward in support.

Some exemplary work is being done by Rapid Response, an NGO that is actively engaged in providing relief support to the affected families by providing them with food and sleeping kits. If you think supporting them is something you could and would want to do, you can contribute to their cause here.

Credits: Twitter

Credits: Twitter

Got more useful information? Please share it in comments below. If you feel like you could take lead on an issue, start your own fundraiser.

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

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

2 Ways You Can Help People Affected By Floods In Assam Right Now

credits: Eenadu India

23 out of 27 districts have been affected by these devastating floods. At least 6 villages are completely submerged under water, with an affected population of over 18 lakh. Rising water of the Brahmaputra has not just impacted the everyday needs of people, including bare necessities like food, clothing and shelter, it has also affected a large number of farm animals and poultry birds.
As the flood-waters in Assam begins to recede, there seems to be a ray of light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon.

Assam Floods, lower Assam worst
Courtesy: Oxfam India

If you wish to help the situation in some way, here are 2 effective ways in which you could be a rescue champion:

Donate Now:

Rapid Response, a Chennai based NGO actively involved in disaster management has identified three major issues that need immediate addressing in the flood affected area – relief kits, medical kits and medical camp. They have started a fundraiser for the same on Ketto, where you can support by donating.

Another one of India’s pioneering NGOs in grass-root social engagement – Oxfam India has started a fundraiser on Ketto to help victims. Oxfam is providing key relief items like safe drinking water, emergency shelter material, medical aid and hygiene facilities.
Their cause is based on extensive in-ground assessment of the situation that they have been doing since the past 3 days. Donate to their fundraiser so nothing stops help from reaching the ones who really need it. Remember, every donation counts, so even if it’s a small amount, go ahead and contribute.

All fundraisers started by individuals and NGOs for Assam Floods can be found here.

On-ground Help:

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.

If you are in and around the area, you can share whatever you can by getting in touch with either of the governmental or non-governmental contacts mentioned below:

  • David Kujur: Inter Agency Group: +91-7399016122: collaborating with all organisations working on ground;
  • Kaplianlal Thangluai: IGSSS (Indo Global Social Service Society): +91-8486355571: distress support in Lower Assam;
  • Assam Helpline of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA):0361-2237219
  • National Disaster Management Helpline: +91-9868891801
  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF): +91-9711077372
  • Jayanta Das : Range Officer: Kaziranga National Park: +91-9435052838
  • Satyendra Singh: Field Director: Kaziranga National Park: +91-9435102834

Share this information on Facebook, Twitter & WhatsApp, let’s spread the word and get Assam all the help it needs.

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.

Nepal earthquake 2015: Ketto to the rescue

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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.

The Joy of Celebrating Gandhi Jayanti (Daan Utsav, CORP campaign ‘Food Box For Granny’, Swachh Bharat movement)

Swachh Bharat movement with Narendra Modi

How do you celebrate the birth anniversary of a leader who helped get India its independence? By paying it forward, of course! This is exactly what the people of our country did this October 2nd in honour of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.

For starters, Gandhi Jayanti marked the beginning of the annual festival Daan Utsav, a week-long celebration of the spirit of giving. Previously known as the Joy of Giving Week, the festival is all about the happy-cheery feeling of giving, gratitude and feeling oh-so-good all around. There’s nothing that feels better than coming together to help do good and spread happiness! The success of Daan Utsav has shown without a shadow of doubt that there are thousands out there who want to help make our world a better place.

Team Ketto saw some awesome campaigns kicking off on Gandhi Jayanti in celebration of Daan Utsav. One of these is CORP (Community Outreach Programme)’s Food Box for Granny campaign. It runs till the end of October and is aiming to provide a whole lot of Tender Loving Care to 120 elderly women, along with yummy, hot meals.

Another feel-good event that kicked-off on October 2nd and is sure to make you feel warm and fuzzy is the Swachh Bharat programme. This is a nationwide initiative to clean up the streets of India, spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The PM inaugurated the cleanliness drive at Rajghat, New Delhi, by sweeping up a street himself. He then ‘challenged’ a bunch of personalities like Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Ambani to join the movement and take it forward.

Similar to the ice-bucket challenge in some ways, this challenge involves one major difference – the ice-bucket challenge became more of an exhibitionist indulgence where the actual cause of raising awareness for a disease was often diluted. The Swachh Bharat challenge, on the other hand, is doing just what it should and is spreading awareness and cleaning up our streets!

For instance, Sachin Tendulkar replaced his cricket bat with a broom and marched to the street opposite the Bandra Reclamation Bus Depot in Mumbai with a team of his friends, to begin sweeping up the trash strewn about. He took a video of his effort and posted it on his Facebook account. Here is an excerpt of what he wrote about it:

“The footpath on the road opposite the Bandra Reclamation Bus Depot was not being used by pedestrians as it was dumped with litter and garbage and covered with wild growth. In fact, the footpath was being misused as a place to answer nature’s call!!”

“With a team of friends who volunteered with me, we started early in the morning to ensure minimal disruption to public and motorists.”

The PM also challenged several others to spread the ‘Swachh Bharat Hi Sach Bharat Hai’ word. Actor-activist Aamir Khan hopes to be part of this movement too.  With such socially-conscious do-gooders lending a hand, the Swachh Bharat movement is sure to gather speed and clear up our littered streets!

It’s heartwarming that Gandhi Jayanti has become a reason to usher in new initiatives to change our world for the better. Happy birthday to our nation’s forefather. And a Ketto salute too!

You don’t need an occasion to start doing something good.

Start your campaign here!