The second wave of the pandemic has been devastating for all with many struggling to get access to food, basic essentials and medical supplies. Healthcare facilities and funeral sites are overwhelmed and have had to turn people away. Social media is flooded with people asking for help in procuring basic essentials, medical supplies and funds to cover spiralling healthcare costs. Total cases have crossed the 2.6 crore mark and total deaths have touched 3 lakhs.
It is a grim picture and in such a scenario, it is easy to get drawn in by all the despair and helplessness around us. However, the past year has also seen humanity get together like never before, join hands to help out and open up their hearts and purses to donate generously.
The results of a survey conducted by online donation platform GiveIndia, in October last year were highly promising - 85 per cent of individuals surveyed expressed an increased desire to donate or give back, while 40 per cent said they wanted to give back by volunteering their time.
Hence, with lockdowns and movement restrictions in place, crowdfunding platforms have proven to be a godsend for many who have been able to raise funds for treatment through them.
Such platforms allow volunteers and donors to help out by facilitating fundraising campaigns for cash assistance, medical supplies, educational supplies, medical supplies including PPE kits, masks and sanitisers, oxygen cylinders, animal welfare services, food distribution and other essentials.
Here are some crowdfunding platforms you can raise funds on and make donations to:
Ketto: Through its Coronavirus Relief Fund, Ketto has raised upwards of Rs 359 crores from more than 2.11 lakh donors and 4,413 fundraisers. Ketto has waived off the 5 per cent campaign fee for all coronavirus-related campaigns and is providing online crowdfunding services for free for patients of the virus. The platform is also collaborating with various NGOs to raise funds and awareness about the virus.
The crowdfunding platform, the first in India, allows individuals and organisations to raise money for social causes, charity, apart from creative causes such as music, films, theatre, personal. Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and actor Anushka Sharma recently donated Rs 2 crore to a fund-raising project for ACT Grants towards providing manpower, oxygen and medical support. The campaign has been able to raise upwards of Rs 11 crore.
ImpactGuru: The crowdfunding platform's Covid fundraisers have raised more than Rs 78.2 crores through 221 campaigns and 45.655 donors. There are campaigns related to medical expenses, daily wager support, elderly support, animal welfare, ambulance support, oxygen support, food distribution and education-related fundraisers where people can raise funds to help students buy laptops or smartphones to attend online classes.
In February, the parents of six-month-old Teera Kamat raised Rs 17 crores from complete strangers to save the baby who is suffering from spinal muscular atrophy, a rare disease which can be treated with a drug that costs Rs 16 crores and is not available in India.
Milaap: Various other campaigns have been raised to support individuals fighting for their lives and for the families of those who have passed away. Milaap has joined hands with Amazon to support Swasth and ACT Grants procure and deploy oxygen concentrators to remote hospitals across India.
The Uber Care Driver Fund, created by Anoj Viswanathan, co-founder Milaap, set up to support drivers, raised more than Rs 31 crore. Around 75,000 drivers received cash grants for immediate and essential family needs.
The crowdfunding platform witnessed a three-fold rise in campaigns set up during the pandemic.
Give India: The fundraising platform launched its India Covid response Fund in April 2020. The platform has a 16-member advisory board which includes Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Narayana Health Founder and Chairman Devi Shetty, Hindustan Unilever Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Mehta, Flipkart Co-founder Binny Bansal, among others.
GiveIndia has tied up with Municipal corporations, state health ministries, hospitals, doctors and NGOs to facilitate the supply of medical equipment. So far, it has raised more than Rs 397 crores from more than 6.03 lakh donors.
Some of the campaigns on GiveIndia include fundraisers to help increase oxygen supply by setting up oxygen generation plants, providing oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators, I Breathe for India by Lara Dutta and Shyamal Vallabjee, which has raised more than 17 crores so far and Priyanka Chopra Jonas Foundation’s #TogetherForIndia.
Donatekart: The donation platform allows people to order grocery kits containing rice, dal, oil, salt, turmeric and chilli powder, and other essentials for donation, which is then delivered to the NGO/campaigner who then ensures that it reaches those in need.
In 2020, Donatekart, along with NGOs like Hemkunt Foundation, Humanity First Foundation and Making The Difference, raised 50 crores worth of products for over 250 NGOs. The platform is currently working with NGOs across the country to help people get access to oxygen, aiming to raise Rs 25 crore worth of oxygen supplies.