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2 villages, 5 hours, Rs 11 lakh: the crowdfunding drive that saved a migrant worker's life

Think Change India
25th Oct 2017
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In an inspiring display of humanity, two villages in Kerala crowdfunded Rs 11 lakh in less than five hours to fund a migrant worker's kidney transplant. Kulathuparambil Jayan, a 45-year-old dhobi from Tamil Nadu, is expected to go through a transplant which will cost him Rs 10 lakh. On October 15, residents of Chingavanam and Pallam in Kottayam district toured the villages with buckets in their hands, collecting the funds.

Source: The Indian Express

For the last 20 years, Jayan has been ironing the clothes of the local residents. The fund-collection campaign was organised by a voluntary outfit called Jayan Life Saving Samithi, says a report by Financial Express. The month-long initiative included motivational sessions by a Catholic priest and door-to-door campaigning. On learning about the support he received, a visibly excited Jayan said,

All the people in Chingavanam and Pallam know me as I have been pushing my mobile ironing unit from one house to another here for the last 20 years. I had feared that I would be left to die for want of money. Now I realise how much the people of this region love me.

Jayan's surgery is scheduled for this month, says a report by The Indian Express. The donor list included everyone from middle-class families to daily-wage workers. Speaking about the same, Samithi head Tino K Thomas, who is also a municipal councillor, said,

We covered 2,000–2,500 houses in five wards under the Kottayam municipality to raise the money. Although the required amount was Rs 10 lakh, the campaign helped us generate Rs 11.25 lakh. The Samithi had requested daily workers to contribute a day’s wage, around Rs 500. There are people who contributed sums ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 25,000. People were enlightened by Father Sebastian Punnasseri, who highlighted that anyone can face an emergency health situation that requires a huge sum for treatment.

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