Coronavirus: How you can help people in crisis through crowdfunding
With India facing a complete lockdown for 21 days to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, thousands of daily wage earners, contract labourers, and migrant workers are struggling to make ends meet.
Since factories, retail outlets, and manufacturing units have ceased operating in the last few days, blue-collar workers, who constitute a large part of the country’s workforce, are being left with no viable income.
Most of them are either making desperate attempts to return to their homes – on foot – or are scrambling to find food and safe spaces to stay.
It is worth noticing that the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently announced a relief package worth Rs 1.70 lakh crore, consisting of a mix of food security and direct cash transfer to help the poor during this grave situation.
However, with help needed right now, many digital crowdfunding platforms have come forward to help. One of the quickest ways to help, crowdfunding platforms have given rise to a whole new route to collaborate and mobilise support during times of crisis.
SocialStory has put together a few ways through which you can pitch in to help.
Milaap, one of India’s largest online crowdfunding platforms known for its healthcare, education, and personal emergency campaigns, is doing its bit for daily wage earners, sanitation workers and medical staff struggling for subsistence and resources.
The company has waived off the platform fee to maximise benefits so that anyone can set up a pitch free of cost.
Several renowned individuals and corporate giants like Luis Miranda (famous for his involvement in setting up HDFC Bank and IDFC Private Equity), Venkat Iyer, Partner at Aventus, and foodtech startup Zomato have already raised money to provide food and medical aid to needy families during this lockdown.
Goodera, known for CSR management, has already assisted many companies in achieving their sustainability goals.
Recently, the platform hosted a webinar in partnership with FICCI and SEDF to enlighten organisations on how CSR capital can be effectively allocated and used to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The session was aimed to bring about an awareness about virtual volunteering and donation opportunities for various causes related to COVID-19 – from funding ventilators and testing kits for hospitals to raising money for the economically deprived.
It also made the webinar open for download and offline viewing.
ImpactGuru has listed 19 causes related to the coronavirus outbreak for you to contribute. This includes food distribution, medical supplies, support for the elderly, and quarantine aid.
One of the campaigns successfully running is that by Indian students from Imperial College London and the alumni of IITs and NITs to support daily wage workers.
These young minds have collaborated with the Society for Poor People Development (SPPD) in Tamil Nadu, Rapid Response in Maharashtra and Kerala, Elderly Care Trust in Gujarat, and HelpAge India for this purpose.
Another platform providing crowdfunding service free of charge is Ketto. It has already collaborated with NGOs and food banks such as Uday Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and Rapid Response to help people affected with coronavirus and also arrange for emergency kits.
Whenever there is a health contagion, people from the vulnerable and marginalised sections of the society tend to get affected the most, since they are least prepared to fight it.
Ketto enables people to lend a hand towards sustaining them during the period of social distancing and lockdown. In order to ensure privacy, it has even implemented ‘a no photograph’ policy, which allows for campaigns to be set up without any visuals or pictures.
Crowdera is enabling a series of individuals to host coronavirus-related campaigns on its platform. Many have pitched their needs based on local and community driven problems.
For example, Shriyash Pandey, a biotechnology student from Allahabad Agriculture Institute, is raising funds to purchase hand sanitizers and face masks in his locality. Then, there is Ratul Ali Khan, who is seeking donations for free medical checkups for the underprivileged in Assam.
Besides, Crowdera is also offering value-added services for all its campaigns like automatic generation of donation receipts, tracking of funds, cross-site donation widgets, and curated reading material.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)