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YouTooCanRun ties up with Ketto For Charity raising at Endurance events.

Mumbai, Maharashtra, September 14, 2016

Running events raise the largest amount of charities as a sport. The 2016 edition of Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, raised INR 28.14 crores for charity. In 2015, Virgin Money London Marathon raised a total charity of £54.1 million which set a new world record for an annual single-day charity fundraising event.

While large events have their proprietary mechanisms to enable large amounts to be raised, YouTooCanRun felt that this power must be available to other events and also for individual runners who want to raise charities on their own.

With this aim in view, YouTooCanRun Sports Management Pvt. Ltd, India’s only mass participation endurance event specific technology and back-end service provider, has partnered with Ketto, Asia’s most visited and trusted crowdfunding platform that helps raise funds for personal needs, charitable causes and creative ideas. This partnership is to provide all the endurance events on the YouTooCanRun Registration Platform an unparalleled opportunity to raise funds for a charity with the power of Ketto.

This partnership between YouTooCanRun and Ketto will help running events to raise charitable funds more efficiently. Ketto has the best-in-class solutions for raising charities. Event organisers have an option of creating a ‘microsite’ for supporting the charity of their choice. Individual runners can also create personal pledge pages of their own to raise funds for their favorite charities.

Speaking on the occasion, Varun Sheth, founder CEO of Ketto said , “We believe running and raising funds to go hand in hand. On Ketto, we’ve raised over a crore through our associations with marathons and running events. With our partnership with YouTooCanRun, we’re hoping more and more passionate runners will come forward to raise funds for the charity they support.”

Venkatraman, Chief Running Evangelist of YouTooCanRun added:Having a premier partner like Ketto adds considerable strength to the cause of YouTooCanRun which is to promoting running for good health. Working together with the event organisers, this partnership will help events raise funds for charitable causes.”

About YouTooCanRun:

YouTooCanRun is a Social Entrepreneurship initiative. Its mission is to “Promote Running for Good Health”. One of its offerings is RACES a complete platform to manage runners engagement and complete the enrollment system besides just registrations. YouTooCanRun provides ancillary services for running event organisers.

More information about YouTooCanRun is available online at www.youtoocanrun.com

About Ketto:

Ketto is Asia’s most visited & trusted crowdfunding platform that helps you raise funds for personal needs, charitable causes and creative ideas. From crowdfunding a pizza, to rehabilitating a whole country after a natural calamity, Ketto has been used for any cause that one strongly believes in. With a network of 2,500+ NGOs, it has facilitated a positive change in the areas of child education, women empowerment, animal welfare, farmer welfare and post natural-calamity rehabilitation. Visit www.ketto.org to know more.

 

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!
 

Humans of Bombay: Bombay’s very own Super Hero!

Human’s of Bombay needs no introduction; they feature the lives of a huge array of people living in India’s most enigmatic, paradoxical and distinct city. Very few can make the hammering difference that Humans of Bombay’s Karishma Mehta has made to the lives of Mumbai’s citizens, giving voices and a platform for expression to everyone. However, this revolutionary goes a step further and starts campaigns for some of Bombay’s most poignant and distressing personal and social cases.

Humans of Bombay's Karishma Mehta

Every campaign Humans of Bombay has started on Ketto has met with overriding success in a matter of hours. Yes, HOURS! Imagine having the power to provide a little girl with means to fund her chemotherapy in a few hours, or saving an entire institution from shutting down in a day, or providing young girls with a home a quick instant. This is exactly what Human’s of Bombay has been doing in the past months; no, it’s not a miracle, its simple crowdfunding added to one of the most powerful catalogs of Bombay’s voices.

One of Humans of Bombay’s early campaigns raised money for Kranti’s daughters of sex workers who were kicked out of their apartment once the landlord learnt about their background. Humans of Bombay managed to hit the goal amount of 5 lakh in a matter of hours (15 to be precise). What’s more, they exceeded their goal amount by approximately 28%, raising a total of 6.39 lakh for the young Kranti girls.

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Humans of Bombay also managed to help young Upahar, diagnosed with blood cancer at the tender age of 14, procure treatment for bone-marrow transplant. Within a day, the goal of 10 lakh was met – and exceeded.

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Humans of Bombay’s latest project is to help Happy Feet Home, India’s first Children’s Hospice that provides free of cost emotional, psycho-social and spiritual support to children with life threatening or life limiting illnesses. After recent changes in the organization, the finances are in a mess, with only Rs. 35000/- in the Happy Feet bank account. The hospice requires 2.15 lakh a month to run, and Humans of Bombay managed to raise over 10 lakhs, again in 15 hours, to help them sustain their home for a few months. Unsurprisingly, the campaign has raised more than Rs. 70,000 over the goal amount.

I guess we can’t all have the same dramatic impact that Humans of Bombay has, but we all CAN have an impact nonetheless. As Mahatma Gandhi has been quoted to say, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” So, what are you waiting for? If you or someone you know are in need of funds, take Humans of Bombay’s road and make big differences in someone’s life.

Doctors that took that extra step!

blog post - docs

The year 2015 saw two very trying cases of young kids battling life threatening illnesses. However, both, with the help of their wonderful doctors and Ketto, have gotten the support they need to get treated.

One-year-old Maria Shujath was one such child to be touched by her doctor’s goodness. Maria was, and still is, suffering from Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and was diagnosed with it when she was a 10-month-old infant. HLH is a disorder of the immune system, causing red blood cells to be destroyed by white blood cells in a process of autoimmunity, causing severe anemia and other complications. HLH is a very rare disease, and virtually only one in ten million people would ever develop it. Maria was unfortunately one in those ten million, and developed this disease way too early in her life.

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Maria’s doctor, Dr. Priyanka Vaddepally, started a campaign for her on Ketto to raise funds for her extensive treatment. With the help of 269 backers, Priyanka managed to raise Rs. 4,64,060 for the little baby. Dr. Priyanka informs us that she has been discharged from the hospital but is still undergoing weekly sessions of chemotherapy, which will last for two months. After this period, the doctors will take a call on whether she needs to go ahead with bone marrow transplant or not. Because she is so tiny, a bone marrow transplant might be hazardous to her delicate life.

Although Maria still has a way to go before she is completely cured of her illness, she is responding well to her treatment and we have hope for a bright future for this adorable little one.

A similar story was that of little three-year-old Srivardhan, who was diagnosed with a severe case of dengue shock. Young Srivardhan was in critical condition and every morning was a guessing game on whether he would make it through the day or not. His father, a worker at a hardware store in Nellore, was at his wits end, and was prepared to sell a kidney.

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Thankfully, this family didn’t need to resort to such drastic measures. Srivardhan’s angel came in the form of Dr. Suchitra Ranjit, who started a campaign for him on Ketto and managed to raise Rs. 4,42,827 with the help of 144 backers. Thanks to Dr. Suchitra, and all the backers on Ketto, Srivardhan has almost completely recovered.

A huge thank you to Dr. Priyanka and Dr. Suchitra for giving these kids a chance at life. Through Ketto, we want to spread the message that crowdfunding is a realistic way to raise an unrealistic amount in the case of medical emergencies. If you, or someone you know are suffering from an illness and in need of funds, you can quickly, easily and safely start a campaign on ketto.org.

If you want to understand this better, call +91- 9930141527.

The year that was: Victories of 2015

We are happy to announce that Ketto has seen a very prosperous 2015, with not only our business growing ten-fold, but seeing an effective increase in the number of people turning to Ketto to fund their needs, beliefs and dreams. Varun Sheth, CEO, Ketto, says “We have had a very eventful year. Ketto ended 2014 having raised 1 crore. However, we proudly end 2015 having raised 10 crores. We are definitely excited about our progress and very happy about the initiatives that came forward.”

2015 showed us the versatility of human imagination and generosity. A range of amazing initiatives came forward, for a variety of causes. Here are just some of the many frontrunners among them.

January: A smashing start of year!

The year began with a bang and set the fast pace of an upcoming 2015. Kayaker Kaustubh Khade kayaked from Mumbai to Goa, a distance spanning approximately 500 Kilometers to raise money for Magic Bus, an NGO which helps children break out of the poverty cycle through sports and outdoor activities.

Our valiant marathon runners, Danny Carroll, Sanghamitra Guha, Vivek Gaur, Kushal Agarwal, Pranav Shah and Rishabh Sekhani each ran for a cause and raised funds on Ketto for the same, meeting high levels of success.

February: Keeping the momentum

Feb wasn’t any less eventful than Jan, with the Sankalp Forum’s initiative to raise money for upcoming sustainable social enterprises. An example of this was Janta Meals, a chain of restaurants started in slum and informal areas to offer nutritious food to those who needed it at a very affordable price. Sampurn(e)arth, an organization aimed at providing environmentally sustainable waste management solutions, also managed to raise significant funds to take their enterprise to the next level.

Feb’s goodwill didn’t end there; Madhusudhan Sashtry raised funds for his friend and colleague, Mubin Ali Syed, who had been battling paraplegia and is the only earning member of his family. His fundraiser was successful and he received roaring support, not only from his workplace, but from across the country, raising over 3.9 lakh thanks to 158 backers.

March : A month of miracles

Miracles because Eshaan’s story was nothing short of a miracle. Two-and-a-half-year-old toddler Eshaan was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer caused by the atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor. His parents started a fundraiser for him for support with his medical bills, and the backing he received was truly monumental.

Apart from patronage for little Eshaan, March also saw an interesting development of Ketto’s creative tech campaigns; funds for Fitkat, the only smart band that aims to keep you healthy, connected and safe, were actualized on our platform. Fitkat tracks your fitness, keeps you safe with an SOS button, gives you alerts of emails, texts or if you’ve left your phone behind and much, much more.

April: Overcoming nature’s calamities… and more

Nepal’s earthquake of April was truly devastating. Our Save Nepal initiative proved to be a huge success and saw a total collection of over Rs. 1.1 crore. Bollywood celebs such as Varun Dhawan, Nargis Fakhri and Dia Mirza (among others) stepped forward to fundraise for our neighbors in the north.

A family in Mumbai were facing calamities of their own this month. 27-year-old Jagruti Gajjar was diagnosed with acute liver failure, a liver transplant being the only option. Her campaign saw an amazing turnout of 1200 backers, raising over Rs. 4 lakh, providing her, her parents and sisters support in their time of need.

May: Expanding our points of view

Point of View, an NGO based in Mumbai that’s mission is to make women’s voices heard and understood, started an initiative on Ketto to raise funds for women with physical and mental disabilities. Point Of View launched www.sexualityanddisability.org, with the premise that disabled women are also sexual beings. This is the same principal most of their campaigns followed and aimed to raise funds for women with disabilities, as well as to train institutions on how to handle women and girls with disabilities.

May also helped expanding the points of view of the young boys and girls of India’s frisbee team, allowing for them to attend the World Under-23 Ultimate Championships in July, 2015. 70% of our team was from underprivileged backgrounds. The funds raised were used for their travel, accommodation, food, gear, and other travel fees.

June: Creating new notions

June was the month of crossing all lines, in the best ways possible. The Mission Paralympics 2016 campaign was borne to enable the differently-abled athletes train and travel to the Paralympic Games in 2016. All funds were raised for four inspiring and amazing athletes in the para-swimming and para-lifting categories.

Apart from this, an enterprising young man, Varun Sharma, was set on helping out villagers of Suaba, a very remote village in Odisha. The village is so remote that hardly any government scheme or service reaches them. Varun’s aim was to empower this village through electricity offered by Solar Panels. As he believes, electricity is the cornerstone of development, and without it, this village would still be in the dark.

July: Reaching new heights

The month preceding the Lakmé Fashion Week saw many young designers raise campaigns in support of their fashion labels to be launched at Lakmé Fashion Week. Of the seven participating designers, some favorites included Shivangi Sahni and Charchit Bafna. Funds raised went towards creating their designs, marketing collateral, publicity and managing logistics. These campaigns helped catapult these designers’ careers to knew heights and we at Ketto were more than happy to be part of this initiative.

Apart from fashion ingenuities, July also brought us the inspiring story of Kevin Pinto. Kevin met with an accident on July 12, 2015, and his head hit a pole, causing diffuse axonal injury, one of the most common and devastating types of traumatic brain injury, and a major cause of unconsciousness and persistent vegetative state after head trauma. Kevin’s colleague Roberto managed to raise a considerable amount for Kevin’s treatment, and Kevin is on his way to recovery.

August: Just some more great stories

Friendicoes SECA Animal Hospital, who have helped thousands of puppies, kittens, donkeys, ponies, dogs, cats and horses, found themselves in a financial debt of Rs. 82,00,000, an amount large enough to shut them down. They, at the time, had approximately 2000 animals in their care, and shutting down would mean abandoning these furry friends. Needless to say, they got ample support, and are still running a strong hospital and animal shelter.

Another initiative this month was for Kranti, an NGO that helps the daughters of Mumbai’s sex workers. A while ago, some of Kranti’s girls were thrown out of their house. On Ketto, Humans of Bombay managed to raise sufficient funds to make a home out of the new unhygienic and decrepit space these girls lived in. With the funds raised on Ketto, Humans of Bombay helped Kranti’s girls find a home in their new living space.

This month also saw the raising of funds to send underprivileged kids to the Homeless World Cup, an annual football tournament that brings together teams comprising of underprivileged people from 64 different countries. Slum Soccer and Sports Keeda came together and managed to raise sufficient funds to transport India’s players to Amsterdam in September.

September and October: The months for women

Violence against women in India is a shocking and scary phenomenon. That being said, Leaf Wearables stepped in and created SAFER, smart jewelry that will keep you safe. In the form of a pendant, if you press your SAFER twice, it sends out an alarm to your pre-added family and friends, who can track you on SaferWalk, SAFER’s map feature. Apart from the whopping 5 lakhs SAFER managed on Ketto, it has raised an additional 1.67 crore in seed funding from angel investors. We wish our country didn’t require an amazing invention such as this, but the hard truth is that it does, and Leaf Wearables saved the day, making a SAFER India now a reality.

A heartbreaking story of a daily wage worker who’s daughter was brutally raped also came to our notice and was successfully funded in September. This man had to walk four kilometers everyday to take his daughter to the doctor to get her wounds treated and the dressing changed, for which he also had to quit work. Storypick, through Ketto, managed to raise sufficient funds for this man to provide transportation and quality treatment to his nine-year-old daughter.

October, too, saw some great initiatives for our women and girls. Khadija, a suspected patient of Neurofibromatosis, was born without eyes and excess skin on her face. She lives in extreme poverty in Kolkata. Although told that her condition was untreatable when born, doctors believed that there is a tumor inside her face, and can be corrected with surgery. Needless to say, this fundraiser for Khadija received ample support and will undergo medical tests to determine the surgery options shortly.

Furthermore, Tara Balgopal, a veteran danseuse, had been living in squalor, largely on charity, for many years, despite also being a Reader of English at Rajdhani College. Post retirement, she wasn’t paid pension as apparently ‘her file was lost’. Nikhil Sarup, co-founder of Law Rato, a legal aid startup, decided to not only offer her free legal advice to get her what she deserved, but also to raise money for her rehabilitation, which included fixing her house, providing daily meals for her and spending an amount on electricity and medical bills. She was met with thriving support and Nikhil managed to effectively transform her life through crowdfunding on Ketto.

November: Unique initiatives

November saw some interesting initiatives full of potential. Shadow the Leader, ‘leading’ among these, allowed backers to to spend a day with their chosen ‘leader.’ Leaders ranged from Malini Agarwal to Sandeep Singhal and donations would go to the leaders’ choice of pre-decided NGOs. This was a huge success and most spots were procured within days of launching. Ketto managed to raise Rs. 3.2 lakh for various causes through this initiative.

Another thunderous success was young Upahar’s fight against blood cancer. The treatment for this, bone marrow transplant, is obviously not cheap. However, Humans of Bombay, through Ketto, managed to get her the funds with a little to spare.

On a lighter not, Siddhant Dand crowdfunded for a pizza and managed to raise enough for, not one, but six pizzas. We here at Ketto are always happy to help a pizza aficionado.

December: Flooding the world’s largest guest list

December, again, saw an unfortunate calamity in terms of Chennai’s devastating floods. However, our Save Chennai initiative saw a gathering of Rs. 1.3 crore for the destruction. Initiatives started by The News Minute and Goonj were widely successful. An initiative for animals during the floods, the only one of its kind, started by Jivesh Goenka, also proved successful in helping our furry, four-legged counterparts.

What’s more, Hardwell returned to Mumbai and 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. Proceeds of his show were handed to the United We Are Foundation and the Magic Bus Foundation, an NGO preoccupied with the welfare and education of underprivileged kids.

Finally, the Horshuba Repertory, a theatre company started in 2012, campaigned for funds for their groundbreaking production Ek Punjab Yeh Bhi, based on Ali Akbar Natiq’s stories. It was firstly a big deal and huge gold star on the company’s credibility that they were given the rights to stage Ali Akbar Natiq’s short stories. What else can we say? The goal was met, the play was staged, the production was a huge success.

2015 has definitely been promising, and we are excited to welcome an even better 2016. We are happy to see so many people, causes and promising projects funded through initiatives on Ketto, helping make the world a better place, little by little. Peter Drucker once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” We at Ketto are aiming to empower individuals and organisations with the opportunity and choice to create their own happy futures.

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.

Reyhaneh-Jabbari

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.

Poor-Body-condition-of-elephant-Chanchal

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.

Helping Chennai by ‘flooding’ them with aid

@The Hindu Business Line

Chennai in deep water

In December 2015, Chennai and some neighboring parts of Tamil Nadu were affected by some of the worst rainfall experienced in nearly a century. Chennai was officially declared a disaster area on December 2. The situation was so dire that The Hindu did not publish a print edition on this day; a first since its founding in 1878. With a death toll of 280 and thousands displaced, these floods were not caused simply by ‘heavy rainfall’, rather an impact of Mother Nature’s complete wrath!

@Press Trust of India

@Press Trust of India

Strength in numbers: Crowdfunding to the rescue!

We have all heard the old adage, ‘United we stand, divided we fall’. This is exactly the heart and spirit of crowdfunding initiatives. When struck by such natural calamities, the ‘crowd’ really does come together in faultless support! We saw this earlier in the year with Nepal’s earthquake tragedy, where Ketto raised over a crore in funds and we were unflinchingly confident that the Chennai floods would be met with the same support and backing. We were not disappointed.

The Superheroes

As Chennai sank, a plethora of do-gooders stepped forward to help it in its deteriorating plight. With more than 1500 backers (yes, you read correctly), Ketto has managed to raise over Rs. 1 crore in funds to help the displaced and dejected citizens of Chennai and other affected regions of Tamil Nadu. The News Minute, a compelling news website, is one such benefactor! With an amazing 489 backers, The News Minute has managed to raise above Rs. 24 lakhs, and are still open for donations for two more days here.

It was encouraging to see Bollywood’s enthusiastic participation for this cause as well. Shruti Haasan implored India and the world to help save her hometown, raising more than Rs. 2.7 lakhs. We also saw the participation of Varun Dhawan and our very own Kunal Kapoor, raising over Rs. 1.5 lakhs.

A lot more aid was received from initiatives by various other individuals and organizations. Goonj, an NGO, with 147 backers, managed to raise an impressive Rs. 5,94,204 in just three days. Rapid Response, an organization specializing in natural disaster relief have already raised over Rs. 8.5 lakhs of their goal amount of a seemingly ambitious Rs. 10,00,000. Entrepreneurs’ Organization managed to raise over Rs. 10 lakhs in three days! It is heartening to see the overwhelming support Chennai has received during this crisis.

Many of our Save Chennai campaigns are still open and you can provide your support here.

@Financial Express

@Financial Express

Our pledge

Ketto has been thriving to make crowdfunding an easy and effective way of supporting each other financially. It’s situations like the Nepal earthquake, Uttarakhand floods and Jammu and Kashmir floods that 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.

Veteran Danseuse Tara Balgopal’s Campaign A Roaring Success

Image Credit: Meeta Ahlawat/The Hindu

[Want to do your own bit to help veteran performer Tara Balgopal dance again? You can contribute to her campaign here.]

Octogenarian Tara Balgopal’s countless medals and accolades, bestowed upon her decades ago by various Prime Ministers, are today coated with layers of dust and faded glory in her Rajouri House in Delhi . As we browse through these photographs of her now, there’s no mistaking the aching sadness that wells up, nor the acknowledgement that this graceful lady deserves much better. Most prominent of all is the desire to be able to help her attain a life fitting of her talent and calibre.

Source: orbitbs.com

Source: orbitbs.com

A Celebrated Performer of Noted Indian Dance Forms

In the 60’s, her mastery of traditional Indian dance forms such as Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Kathakali cemented her position as a cultural icon of the times. Unfortunately, it seems that that respect didn’t translate over the years in public memory; her contributions to the arts were forgotten altogether, leaving her in heart-wrenching poverty today.

Ms. Balgopal’s Contribution to Delhi University

Besides being a veteran danseuse, Ms. Balgopal also used to hold the admirable post of Reader in English at the Delhi University’s Rajdhani College, and in 1963, she went on to be the first Indian to conduct UG courses on All India Radio.

Source: The Logical Indian

Source: The Logical Indian

With such inspiring achievements to her credit, it seems particularly unjust that post-retirement, Tara was refused her due credits and benefits by the University, for which she is currently fighting a legal case. The University’s claim to have lost Ms. Balgopal’s files has further compounded the misery, rendering her case a casualty to red tape.

“They owe me Rs.2 crore as they paid me the dues of a Lecturer while I was a Reader. Now they tell me that I was never there,” said Tara Balgopal told The Hindu. “I have lost all my money in the case. My husband (a chartered accountant) used to fight the case on my behalf. He died three-and-a-half-years ago. I was given a lawyer from the National Woman’s Council. The Council pays him his fee but people tell me he doesn’t go to the court.”

Banks and insurance companies too joined the notorious bandwagon in withholding her funds as well as personal property. She has had to depend on the charity of her neighbours to a large extent, some of whom are rather indifferent to her plight — while others, kinder, bring over much-required food once in a while.

Source: Indiatimes.com

Source: Indiatimes.com

The Accolades & Association of the 1960’s

Old photographs of the veteran performer taken with the then heavyweights of Indian politics and the music industry lie strewn and yellowing around her dilapidated house. After her performance in the Parliament in 1960, there had even been a postal stamp issued by the Government of India in 1963 to honour her, and back in the day, she had accompanied Mahatma Gandhi in weaving on charkhas, and been a close friend of personalities the likes of Indira Gandhi, Nayantara Sahgal and Vijaya Laxmi Pandit.

Source: Indiatimes.com

Source: Indiatimes.com

Shrinking attention spans and the ever-rotating media spotlight have meant that many accomplished artists’ feats are often forgotten in their sunset years, but when the media’s eye did turn to Ms Balgopal’s current life of uncertainty, a certain Nikhil Sarup stepped up to turn good intentions to constructive action.

Real Talk: The Power of Crowdfunding In Affecting Change

Co-founder of LawRato.com, a Delhi-based legal advice startup, Mr Sarup offered her free legal aid and started a campaign on Ketto.org to crowdfund her living and medical expenses as well as those for the repairs needed to her house.

Arun, the painter who has been hired with the raised funds to fix up Ms Balgopal's house.

Arun, the painter who has been hired with the raised funds to fix up Ms Balgopal’s house.

Thanks to Mr Sarup’s campaign on the platform, over 360 backers, came together to successfully cross the goal of raising INR 6, 00, 000. With over a month left, her campaign has actually been overfunded in a tip of the hat to human benevolence, and the power of empathy.

We hope that she will now be able to continue to fight for the dues she has earned from the University years ago, and that she has the means live a life of dignity and comfort, as a legend like her deserves.

[Want to do your own bit to help veteran performer Tara Balgopal dance again? You can contribute to her campaign here.]

[Featured Image Credit: Meeta Ahlawat/The Hindu]