Category - Women

Ketto Launches Quirky Merchandise To Raise Awareness For Breast Cancer

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Asia’s most trusted and visited crowdfunding platform Ketto in collaboration with JumpingGoose, a design consultation and implementation agency has initiated a campaign to raise awareness for breast cancer.

There’s an interesting twist to this campaign – this time it’s spearheaded by men under the name MCBC. Before we get your eyebrows raised, MCBC is the abbreviated form of the words ‘Men Countering Breast Cancer’.


To bring it to life, Ketto and JumpingGosse have launched a range of casual and quirky T-shirts for men with the letters MCBC written in bold colours and designs. These T-shirts are exclusively available on the online shopping destination Amazon. The idea is to generate awareness around breast cancer and encourage women to get checked early. A portion of the proceeds will go to Tata Memorial Trust Mumbai for treating underprivileged women that have breast cancer.

Breast cancer has been rising steadily and both the incidence as well as deaths due to breast cancer are now more than cervical cancer in India. The MCBC campaign aims at gaining support from men who want to help women in India beat breast cancer.

So if you’re one and want to show support, go grab your MCBC T-shirt now!

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.

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!

 

When Scrolling Comes To More Than Just A Halt

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Every now and then we turn to our mobile phones to feed on information that the world throws at us. It’s wonderful how the lifeless smartphone we hold in our hands evokes so many emotions within us. It makes us smile at the video of the dog who prays before his meals, critique click-bait headlines, share the articles we love and so much more.

But what happens when you come across a story that holds your attention, stops your finger from scrolling down and evokes an emotion like no other? Would you like to pause and help?

If yes, read on.

Here are some stories of people who stopped scrolling to help someone:1_1443947296_725x725

Last year, thanks to the internet, Tara Balgopal’s story of being honoured by a postal stamp to living off of charity came into the limelight.
While the story got a huge number of shares and comments on social media, it didn’t make Tara Balgopal’s dilapidated house any better.
That’s when someone, somewhere, scrolling through their feed decided to stop and help – Nikhil Sarup. He decided to raise funds to fix her house and to ensure the 82-year old gets proper food to lead a healthy life. With his efforts, he didn’t just get the issue the attention it required but also raised an amount of Rs. 8,10,103 with help from the crowd in just a month.
Had he decided to just share it on social media and gone ahead with living his life, Tara Balgopal wouldn’t be living in a proper, well-furnished house with electricity, neither would she have received a tiffin service or a way better life.

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We’re sure you’ve come across Khadija’s story, she was the faceless 21-year old with abnormal skin growth and improper demarcations on her face. What you don’t know is what happened after her story garnered attention on social media. Kolkata based ‘Soul Angels Group’ decided to help Khadija by starting a fundraiser on Ketto to fly her to Mangalore for her treatment and the post-treatment care. Soul Angels Group’s initiative inspired others to help Khadija thus raising the goal amount to a whopping Rs. 10,90,360!

It’s amazing how channelising feelings can make a positive difference to someone’s life.
While money may not always be the core of providing help, it definitely is one of the most effective ways of doing so.

If you’re still reading this, you’re the kind of person we want to talk to:
The next time you come across a story that makes you stop scrolling, pause, get in touch with us and we’ll try to help you make a difference.
You can call us on (+91) 022 3357 8152 or write to info@ketto.org or you can contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

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 Stories That Define Women Empowerment

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We’re high on inspiration.
How wonderful is it to read stories of women who found their calling and acted on it? Today’s the perfect day to infect you with a dose of this very inspiration we speak of. Presenting to you women who got out there and achieved what they were meant to.
Women who make us super proud. Women you need to know about.

1. Kavita Gonsalves and Charlene Vaz

Take a few bakers, mix a few noble causes, add chocolate, red velvet and whipped cream to it. What do you get? Except from the revelation that we have terrible cannibalistic baking skills, you get the super awesome Bake Collective.

Image Courtesy: mumbaimag.com

Since their inception in 2012, they’ve been making a delicious difference to a huge range of causes by raising over 7 lakhs as of 2015, May. It’s like, buy red velvet cupcakes and help buy teaching material, buy strawberry cheesecakes and fund small town women entrepreneurs, buy monster cookies and get disabled children toys to play with. They’re literally making the world a sweet place to live in, aren’t they?
Isn’t this the best form of charity ever?

2. Anita Ahuja:

Anita wanted to do something about the waste crisis of Delhi; she came up with an ingenious idea that ended up creating employment opportunities and source of income for around 300 unskilled workers.

Image Courtesy: blogcms.outlookindia.com

With her NGO Conserve, she creates bags, diaries, raincoats, umbrellas out of plastic waste through a process that she invented herself. She also patented this innovative process that “up-cycles” waste plastic to Handmade Recycled Plastic, known as HRP.

Anita sure knows how to club the principles of enterprise and social service.

3. Karishma Mehta

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when we say ‘a well captured picture with warm stories of dreams, failures, and hopes on Facebook? Yes, you’re right! We’re talking about the wonderful Humans of Bombay page founded by Karishma Mehta.

Image Courtesy: thebetterindia.com

Along with establishing a powerful connection with the reader, she has also gone out of the way to help people. Not many people are aware of this but Karishma has started several campaigns on Ketto to support causes and has raised an overwhelming amount of funds for the causes she supports. Check out one here. With tremendous reach and a lot of support, it’s super amazing to see her use it for a greater purpose.
We think it’s brilliant to see a community go beyond sharing stories and create amazing ones.

4. Shaheen Mistri

We take a lot of pride in being associated with Shaheen Mistri, founder of Teach for India. She has raised funds on Ketto several times. This woman is ensuring the future generations don’t stop at the fifth grade.


Image Courtesy: outlookbusiness.com

She’s responsible for the nationwide movement of eradicating educational inequality by bringing the brightest college graduates and professionals back to classrooms! Not just that, she started her NGO Aakanksha at the age of 18, to make an attempt to maximize the potential of children belonging to low-income families. She realizes how every child has the power to achieve great things if given the right opportunities.
By raising the quality of education, she’s creating responsible citizens for India.

5. Mahita Fernandez

One night Mahita woke up because of her grumbling belly and this precise incident is how she came up with the brilliant “Feed Your Neighbour”. She realized how there are many out there who don’t have the privilege of just walking into their kitchens and opening the fridge when they experience a hunger pang.

Image Courtesy: bangaloremirror.com

Sometimes even the smallest of the insights can lead to a movement.
With “Feed Your Neighbour” on Facebook, during the festive period of Dusshera, Mahita invites people in Benguluru to cook 5 extra meals which are later picked and distributed by a fleet of enthusiastic volunteers. This simple concept has pulled off a logistical miracle by managing to feed 1,22,937 meals to the hungry.

6. Amla Ruia

She’s rightly called the “Water Mother” of the formerly known dry state of Rajasthan. While the government was helping them with water tanks, Amla started researching and planning on how she could build a sustainable solution to help people. And because of her idea of building check dams, Rajasthan is a different place altogether today.

Image Courtesy: womensweb.in

The farmer incomes have increased and become steady because they are now able to grow 3 crops in a year as opposed to 1, larger incomes have led to purchase of transport amenities like 1 to 2 motorbikes per family and 4-5 tractors per village, migration to cities has reduced and believe it or not, it has also affected the marriage pattern, people are willing to marry their daughters there.
With her Aakar Charitable Trust, she wishes to take this to other states as well.

7. Ria Sharma

During her final semester in Leeds College of Arts, she watched a movie called Saving Face and that moved her so much she decided to do something about the heinous crime of acid attacks by helping the survivors.

Image Courtesy: womennow.in

On receiving immense support from her professors, she travelled to Bangalore to meet some of the victims as a part of her project that required creating a documentary. Soon this project evolved into a massive revolution called Make Love Not Scars.
Under her leadership, the NGO has now spread awareness, raised funds for the treatment of victims, and even made attempts at implementation and amendments of laws with respect to acid attacks.

It’s great to see how many lives these women impacted with their ability to identify a problem, think of a solution, believe in it and most importantly ACT on it!

All you wonderful women out here, bring your beautiful ideas to life.
Identify your cause and get started with a fundraiser on Ketto. Maybe you’ll be the next woman we’ll be talking about.

My Daddy’s Strongest!

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These amazing fathers would do anything (and we mean anything) to save their little ones. Read on about their amazing journey.

This man who walked 4 km everyday for his daughter’s treatment:

In a tragic incident in Jharkhand, a daily wage laborer’s nine-year-old daughter was brutally raped by a local driver. She managed to escape the incident with her life, but by no means unharmed. The incident left her intestines badly ruptured, mandating her to get a colectomy, removing all parts of her colon. Now, this little girl must carry a colostomy bag for life.

Due to no transportation facilities in their village, this girl’s father would walk 4 km everyday to the nearest hospital to dress his daughter’s wounds and provide her with proper treatment, keeping his job, and consequently his income, on hold. We managed to raise over 2 lakh on Ketto for this father daughter duo, providing the child adequate treatment and the father enough support. Check out the campaign here.

This man who was prepared to sell a kidney to cure his kid:

A hardware store employee, Srinivasulu, raised multiple loans to treat his only child, three-year-old Shrivardhan, who was struck by a severe case of dengue shock and his life was in danger as he had been hospitalized at a very late stage. Despite having raised loans to pay for his treatment, Srinivasulu was still short of funds, and was seriously considering selling a kidney.

Lucky for him, he didn’t have to, and support came in the form of Dr. Suchitra Ranjit and Sonali Ranjit, who managed to raise over 4.4 lakh on Ketto for little Srivardhan. Check out this campaign here.

Apart from the fact that they were both funded on Ketto, what do these stories have in common? Both these men were at a complete loss of funds, and hope. Our country is riddled with such cases, where many are unaware of the array of options they have. If you happen to come across someone who needs support, be it for medical expenses, shelter or any other cause, do introduce them to Ketto or start a campaign for them! Together we can make big differences by doing a little bit.

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.

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]