Amidst the glitz and glamour of the Indian film industry is an actor who has leveraged his popularity and celebrity clout to create awareness about social issues and motivate Indian youth to drive change.
Critically acclaimed actor Kunal Kapoor is one of the three founding partners of Ketto and when he is not working on one of his offbeat films, he devotes his time to inspiring today’s generation to become charitable in a fun and easy manner.
Upon realizing that the only thing stopping people from donating was the lack of a credible platform, Kunal helped create Ketto as a vehicle for moving funds to those in need from those who need to give back.
Keep reading to discover what Bollywood thinks of the spirit of giving and how the renowned actor leverages his goodwill to empower today’s youth.
From Bollywood to charity, how did the idea for Ketto come about?
I was working with a number of NGOs and realized they were always in need of funds and people to help but did not necessarily have access to them. On the other hand, many of my friends, family, acquaintances were looking to donate and help out but were not exactly sure how to and to whom to give these funds to. Also, charity is perceived as serious, difficult and complicated. So the idea behind Ketto was to build a bridge between the people that needed help and those who wanted to help using the easiest possible way, which is technology.
Do you see a huge mind-shift in Bollywood towards charity today?
I think the Indian film industry has always been the first to step up whenever there is a need to raise funds or awareness for a social cause. Today there are so many more avenues that have opened up, which makes it easier for us to reach out to people for charitable causes.
How has the crowdfunding landscape changed in India?
I think it’s growing at a really fast pace. When we started a couple of years back, there was a certain amount of resistance. But over the years I have seen the mindset change. People are realizing the power of crowdfunding. We’ve seen the interest and traffic growing with every passing month.
What role has Ketto played in changing the dynamics of giving in India?
I think it’s too early to say that we’ve changed the dynamics of giving. We have pulled off campaigns that we are really proud of in areas as diverse as education, women’s issues and sports. The larger dream though is to change the mindset associated with giving. People think charity is serious, complicated and difficult. We want them to see that it can be fun, easy and accessible. In the amount of time you take to book movie tickets, you can now change a life, sitting anywhere in the world.
How do you leverage your background in acting for Ketto?
I think that the first step to bringing about change is to create awareness. Being a celebrity helps me create awareness and support causes I believe in. If as an actor I can sell, cars, clothes, watches, then it’s important that I use that reach to create awareness and mobilize people to lend their support.